Bengal BJP chief heckled, party workers stage protest

Kolkata, Jul 1 (PTI) West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh alleged on Wednesday that supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) heckled him and vandalised his vehicle in the Rajarhat-New Town area in the northeastern fringes of Kolkata.

Ghosh, also the Medinipur MP, said the incident took place in the afternoon while he was out for a 'Cha-Chakra' (chat over a cup of tea) mass outreach programme of the saffron party.

The TMC, however, dismissed Ghosh's allegations as 'baseless'.

'Today afternoon, when I went outside to have tea with the locals as part of our Cha-Chakra programme, TMC supporters came out of nowhere and started abusing me. They heckled me and my security guards. Even though the local police was informed about the programme well in advance, they had not taken any step to ensure my security,' Ghosh said.

'Every year I shift to a new house but ever since I have moved to Rajarhat, TMC cadres are threatening the owner of the house,' he added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers took out a march towards the state secretariat in protest against the incident but were stopped by police personnel at the Vidyasagar Setu over the Hooghly river. The workers of the saffron party also took out a protest march in central Kolkata.

Reacting to the development, TMC Lok Sabha party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay dismissed the state BJP chief's allegations as 'baseless'.

'Since last year's Lok Sabha poll results, Dilip Ghosh has been regularly making such baseless allegations. The TMC does not believe in the path of violence. The BJP's allegations stem from its illusion that the party is going to win the 2021 state Assembly polls,' he said.

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury criticised the TMC government in West Bengal for repeated attacks on opposition leaders in the state.

Ghosh lodged a police complaint about the incident and the law enforcers said they are looking into it.

The state BJP president has been heckled several times in the past.

The BJP emerged as the main opposition party in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, winning 18 of the 42 seats, while the TMC won 22. PTI PNT ACD RC