A defiant Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Friday doubled down on his open threat of an eye-for-an-eye, saying anyone targeting him or his party’s workers will be met with violence even from central forces sent for next year’s assembly elections.
“They will target my car, they will break arms and legs of my workers, they will lynch them – should we serve them tea? We haven’t any papers to say we will stand and get thrashed,” Mr Ghosh told NDTV in an interview.
“We are not speaking from some air-conditioned room. We are fighting on the ground. 120 workers have sacrificed their lives,” he said.
Asked if the BJP endorsed violence, he said, “I never said BJP will beat anyone. I said central forces who come here will beat anyone who creates problems.”
Targeting the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal led by Mamata Banerjee, he said, “Ask the government why there are bomb blasts every day? Why are political workers murdered? Has even one person been punished?”
Earlier this month, Mr Ghosh had issued a controversial warning to supporters of Mr Banerjee, saying that they should mend their ways or they risk having their arms and legs broken and may even be killed.
“Didi’s brothers who are creating trouble should change their habits in the next six months otherwise you will have your arms, leg, ribs and head broken. You’ll have to take a trip to the hospital. And if you do more than that, then you will have to go the crematorium,” Mr Ghosh said at a rally in Haldia.
The Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee, popularly known as Didi, and the BJP have fostered a bitter rivalry in West Bengal which will hold assembly elections next year. Both sides have accused each other of political violence and attacks on each other’s supporters.
Dilip Ghosh’s comments come amid heightened political activity in Bengal ahead of the polls in which Union Home Minister Amit Shah has set an ambitious target of winning 200 of the state’s 294 seats.