The ruling Trinamool Congress is working with a criminal instinct, BJP chief JP Nadda, who is in West Bengal to campaign for this year’s assembly election, said on Saturday. Referring to the attack on his convoy last year, he said the fact that a protected leader can be attacked shows the state of the law-and-order situation in Bengal.
“The ruling political party is working with a criminal instinct. Corruption has been institutionalised. The point-blank attack on a protected leader like me is a testament to the state of law and order to which a regular citizen is subject,” he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying at a press conference in Bengal’s Bardhaman district.
In December, Mr Nadda’s vehicle came under attack during his journey to Diamond Harbour from Kolkata.
“Last time when I came, the manner in which I was welcomed en route Diamond Harbour, we were attacked under a plan by the administration and a political party — nation witnessed it. The home ministry took a strong note of this. Today when I’m here again, I say so far so good,” he added.
Trinamool MP Saugata Roy reacted to Mr Nadda’s comments and said: “If (JP) Nadda had the guts, he would have gone to Singhu at the border of Delhi and Haryana, where thousands of farmers are parked with their tractors for weeks, instead of running away to Bengal. Why has he come here? The farmers of Bengal don’t have a complaint, they are not agitating.”
The centre has done nothing for the farmers of Bengal, he added.
“Last time Mr Nadda came, he was going to Diamond Harbour in a bullet-proof car. Some two-three bricks were thrown and no one was hurt. Kailash Vijayvargiya’s leg got a little cut but there was so much excitement about the incident, as if India and China had gone to war and Mr Nadda was injured,” Mr Roy said.
Mr Nadda arrived at the Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in West Bardhaman district at around noon on Saturday and took a helicopter ride to Jagdanandpur village in East Bardhaman.
He also carried out a roadshow from Clock Tower to Lord Curzon Gate in the city.
Mr Nadda on Saturday launched the Ek Mutthi Chawal (a fistful of rice) programme to blunt the opposition’s “anti-farmer” allegation against the centre. He collected rice from farmers’ homes and briefed them about the benefits of the three new farm laws.
“I visited four houses today, I took food grain from them and pledged that as soon as we come to power, farmers will be felicitated with Kisan Samman Nidhi (a central government scheme),” he added.
He also said the BJP will also implement the centre’s insurance scheme in the state.
The BJP and the Trinamool have been engaged in a bitter turf war over the last few years. The tension between workers of the two parties has escalated since the JP Nadda-led party won 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 national elections.