Bengal BJP plans to petition President over post-poll violence

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(Eds: Updating with fresh inputs) Kolkata, Jun 8 (PTI) West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday said that the party has plans to petition President Ram Nath Kovind over post-poll violence in the state, claiming that 40 saffron brigade workers have been killed so far and many others forced to flee their homes.

After holding a meeting with party functionaries over the post-poll scenario in the state, Ghosh told reporters that he has already written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah detailing the incidents.

'The chief minister had said that violence had occurred when her government was not there. But after she has taken oath, nearly 33 of our workers were killed taking the death toll to 40 since the end of the elections in the state.

We will petition the President on these issues,' he said.

A decision on the date will be made soon, keeping in view the coronavirus situation, the BJP MP said.

Shortly after being sworn in as the chief minister for the third time following the TMC's landslide win, Mamata Banerjee on May 5 had claimed that clashes were taking place in those areas where the BJP won the elections.

The next day, she said that at least 16 people, mostly of the BJP and the TMC, have lost their lives in post-poll violence in the state.

Banerjee had also said that most of the 16 deaths were reported till May 3 when the law and order was under the Election Commission of India.

Ghosh claimed that around 25,000 BJP workers had to flee their homes owing to attacks by the ruling party supporters.

'Some have had to flee the state even. Many of those who fled tried to return, but abandoned the idea after threats and attacks,' Ghosh said.

He said that the party has started dharnas at the district level to protest against alleged violence on the BJP workers, police inaction and politics over vaccination.

Ghosh said that the protests will be held at the state level on June 23, the death anniversary of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

'Violence continues unabated in the state even after the formation of the government; the ruling party is unwilling to acknowledge the incidents,' Ghosh said.

Claiming that the state government does not want peace to prevail, he said that the BJP has moved various commissions and courts seeking protection for its workers.

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari wasn't present at the session as he is away in Delhi to meet Amit Shah and the BJP's president J P Nadda.

Party national vice-president Mukul Roy also skipped the meeting, amid speculation about a possible change in political equation after TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee visited his ailing wife in hospital on June 2.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called up Roy on June 3 to enquire about his wife's condition, and Ghosh, too, had visited the hospital to meet her. PTI AMR NN NN

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