Kolkata: Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh received a public rebuke from his party colleague and union minister Babul Supriyo for his controversial comments about those damaging public property being "shot like dogs" in states ruled by the saffron party.
Saying it was very “irresponsible of Dilip da to have said what he said”, Supriyo asserted that the BJP as a party has nothing to do with the comments made by its Bengal unit head at a public meet in Nadia district.
"It is a figment of his imagination and BJP Governments in Uttar Pradesh, Assam have NEVER EVER resorted to shooting people for whatever reason whatsoever," the minister tweeted.
Ghosh had courted controversy on Sunday by threatening to shoot and kill those involved in damaging public property “like in Uttar Pradesh”. Nineteen people protesting against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act died in UP last month, of which 15 are reported to be from firearm injuries.
The Bengal BJP chief came down heavily on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "for not opening fire and ordering lathicharge" on those destroying railway property and public transport during the anti-CAA protests in the state in December.
"Is it the father's property of those who are setting public property on fire? How can they destroy government property built on tax payers' money?" Ghosh said.
He said, "Didi's (Mamata Banerjee) police didn't take action against the people who destroyed public properties as they are her voters. Our governments in UP, Assam and Karnataka has shot these people like dogs."
The BJP leader said those involved in arson and damaging public property will be shot "like the same way in Uttar Pradesh". "They will come here, enjoy all the facilities and destroy country's property. Is it their zamindari!" he asked.
Ghosh also called for identifying those "sabotaging the interests" of Hindu Bengalis. He claimed that there are two crore "Muslim infiltrators" in the country. "One crore alone is in West Bengal and Mamata Banerjee is trying to protect them," he alleged.
The remarks have met widespread condemnation, and Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao said the BJP state chief was using the language of a “bully”.
"Mr @DilipGhoshBJP, if that is the case why didn't Delhi Police not shoot like dogs the ABVP/BJP goons who were running amuck in #JNU. The language you use is the language of a bully, out to subjugate people with the might of the government machinery (sic)," he tweeted.