|Mukul Roy and Partha Chatterjee at the news conference. Picture by Amit Datta
Calcutta, June 1: Trinamul secretary-general Partha Chatterjee today said the party was “not scared of Delhi”, a day after a national-level BJP team said it would seek the Centre’s intervention if the state government failed to act within 24 hours against those who attacked BJP supporters in Sandeshkhali.
“A BJP team made some painful and disgraceful comments against the ruling party after its visit to Sandeshkhali. We strongly condemn such comments and want to remind them that we are not scared of Delhi,” Chatterjee told a news conference at the Trinamul headquarters in Topsia, with all-India general secretary Mukul Roy by his side.
Trinamul’s move to react to the BJP leaders’ comments is being seen in party circles as its “new-found concern over the BJP’s emergence as a force to reckon with in Bengal” after the party’s improved performance in the Lok Sabha polls. Although the BJP won only two seats in Bengal, the party got leads in over 20 Assembly segments and secured 18 per cent of the votes.
The BJP’s performance in Bengal and the Narendra Modi wave in many parts of the state where it got leads has caused concern in Trinamul circles. Trinamul insiders said the Bengal ruling party was trying to push back the polls to 18 civic bodies, in most of which the BJP got leads.
After a day’s visit to Sandeshkhali, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi had told a news conference in Calcutta: “State-assisted violence is going on. We’ll seek the intervention of the Union home ministry and the PMO if the state government is unable to control the violence”.
On May 27, a day after Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, about a dozen BJP activists suffered bullet injuries when they were fired at allegedly by Trinamul activists in Sandeshkhali.
Asked today if he was referring to the BJP team’s claim that it would seek the intervention of the Union home ministry and the PMO, Chatterjee shot back: “We have got 34 MPs elected from Bengal this time. So I want to say that we are not scared of Delhi. Dillir jujur bhoy dekhiye labh nei (There is no point in scaring us with Delhi)”.
Reacting to Chatterjee’s comments, state BJP president Rahul Sinha said that Trinamul was trying to “hide its fear from Delhi”.