BJP’s national chief J.P. Nadda forms panel to visit girl’s family in Nadia
The BJP is drawing up plans to use the gang-rape of a Class IX girl at Hanskhali in Nadia district and her death apparently because of excessive bleeding to build a movement against the Mamata Banerjee government at a time the Trinamul Congress is saddled with a slew of CBI cases.
Several BJP insiders said the party had been waiting for an opportunity to attack the ruling establishment in Bengal after the drubbing in the Assembly polls and subsequent bypolls and civic elections.
“Last month’s tragedy at Bogtui gave us a chance to build a movement, but we could not capitalise much on it as Trinamul has a strong organisation in the district (Birbhum).… In Nadia, we have a far stronger organisation and we will make it a big issue and embarrass the government,” a state BJP office-bearer said.
Hanskhali is in the Ranaghat Lok Sabha constituency which is represented by Jagannath Sarkar of the BJP. The BJP won five of the seven Assembly segments in this Lok Sabha constituency, including Krishnaganj which covers Hanskhali.
A source in the party has said both the central and state leadership of the party thinks that if the Hanskhali incident can be properly exploited, it will create a mood against the Mamata administration, which, in turn, will help the BJP regroup across the state.
On Wednesday, BJP’s national chief J.P. Nadda set up a five-member, all women, “fact-finding” committee to visit Hanskhali. The committee is composed of MP and national vice-president of the party Rekha Verma, UP cabinet minister Baby Rani Maurya, Tamil Nadu MLA and national chief of the party’s women wing Vanathi Srinivasan, actress-turned-politician Khushbu Sundar and Bengal MLA Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhary. The team will submit a report to Nadda “at the earliest”.
A similar team was set up by Nadda in the aftermath of the Bogtui killings. The team presented its report to Nadda and advocated central intervention to restore law and order in Bengal.The fact that the BJP is trying to create a mood for the President’s rule in Bengal became clear when the party’s national vice-president Dilip Ghosh spoke in favour of invocation of Article 356 at a news conference on Wednesday.
“The people of Bengal deserve to live in peace. Whatever is going is not what they want. This is why they are seeking central intervention and I think it is high time that Article 356 is invoked,” Ghosh said.
The BJP’s chief spokesperson, Samik Bhattacharya, had on Tuesday said the governor should “quit tweeting” and start acting, hinting the party wanted Jagdeep Dhankhar to speak in favour of the President’s rule. Constitutionally, it is based on the governor’s report that the Centre invokes the article concerned.As part of a larger strategy to use the issue, Krishnaganj BJP MLA Asish Biswas has taken the family of the victim and her parents in his refuge. He has been continuously visiting the victim’s house for the past few days.
On Wednesday, he reached the victim’s house around 7.30 in the morning. He then took the parents of the deceased girl to the local Bogula Primary Health Centre after they complained of physical unease.
“The family and people of Samar Gayali have been threatening this poor family. Moreover, police are harassing them. That is why I am here with them and I brought them to the hospital. I will be with them in all kinds of need,” Biswas told The Telegraph.
The family was discharged from the hospital in the evening. A team of BJP MLAs led by the leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari had met the family on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Adhikari and other BJP leaders participated in a law violation programme in Birbhum’s Suri, protesting against the alleged breakdown in law and order. He received minor injuries to the leg during the rally when a police guardrail fell on him. He was treated at a local private hospital.
The state chief of the BJP’s youth wing, Indranil Khan, participated in a protest rally and demonstration in Hanskhali. Sources in the party said a huge rally, probably to Nabanna, would be organised after the Bengali New Year on April 15.
The SFI and the DYFI led two protest marches in Ranaghat and Behrmpore, respectively.
18 Covid cases
Calcutta: Bengal on Wednesday reported 18 new Covid-19 infections, 39 recoveries and no death. Currently, there are 400 active cases in the state. The positive confirmation rate is 0.17 per cent, recovery rate 98.93 per cent and mortality rate 1.05 per cent.