Kolkata: The BJP's Bengal chief Dillip Ghosh made headlines over the weekend for saying that his party's workers', "trained by the RSS, can break the neck of people with bare hands." The threat was directed at Trinamool workers. Two days later, the 52-year-old saw no reason to withdraw his aggressive comments.
- West Bengal BJP chief had threatened Trinamool activists with violence
- Trained by RSS, can break people's necks with bare hands, he had said
- My party and the public are with me, he said today defiantly
"They have attacked several BJP leaders and workers. If violence can be stopped with violence, then we will adopt those means. If someone bombs me, I will not serve them tea," a defiant Mr Ghosh told NDTV on Monday at the West Bengal Assembly where he went to take oath as MLA. He has been elected from the Kharagpur Sadar constituency.
"The security of my workers is my responsibility," he added
Mr Ghosh's comments on Friday caused leaders of his party in Delhi to frown.
Siddharth Nath Singh, who has charge of West Bengal, reportedly condemned Mr Ghosh's comment.
"Delhi style politics in Delhi. Kolkata style politics is in Kolkata," said Mr Ghosh when told that Siddharth Nath Singh had condemned his comments. "I have to live here and protect my existence...we have to decide on action required here and Dilip Ghosh will decide what's right," he said.
Asked if he thought his party chief Amit Shah and even prime minister Narendra Modi would support what he was saying, he said, "No one has talked to me. My party and the public are with me.
Mr Ghosh is one of three BJP MLA elected in the just concluded Assembly elections in West Bengal that Chief Minister Mamata Baenrjee's Trinamool Congress has swept.
All opposition parties have accused the Trinamool Congress of political violence and allege that the state government is turning a blind eye to it. "Opposition people aren't able to survive, they are being asked to pay money or leave villages or then join the Trinamool Congress. There is not a single statement from the state government to stop violence," said Mr Ghosh.
The Bengal BJP leader was addressing a rally in Midnapore town when he said, "We can also fight. Half our people are trained by the RSS and breaking the necks of two-three people with our bare hands is no big deal for us. If you have the guts, give the police a week's holiday. Let's see how much mothers' milk you have consumed. The noise of bones being crushed will reach Kalighat."
"If they (Trinamool) have 211 MLAs, then we have more than 1,000 MLAs (legislators) and MPs (lawmakers) across India. If they step outside Bengal, we will teach them a lesson," Mr Ghosh had said.
The Trinamool's Mukul Roy has called Mr Ghosh's comments "totally unacceptable" and said his party would complain to Parliament.