A CPI(M) MLA on Tuesday stirred a row as he urged the people of the state to keep sticks, iron pipes handy for self-defence against "ruling party goons", drawing flak from the BJP, which alleged that the Left Party legislator was "instigating locals to take up weapons to create unrest" in the state.
Papia Datta, the general secretary of the BJP's state unit, sought strict action against CPI(M) MLA Bhanu Lal Saha.
"The CPI(M) is trying to create unrest in the state by inciting people, asking them to take up arms. This is illegal, provocative and we want legal action against leaders, who make such remarks," she said at a press meet.
Bhanu Lal Saha, taking to Facebook on Tuesday, said, "Keep sticks, iron pipes, etc handy, irrespective of your age and gender, for resisting bricks, kicks, petrol bombs hurled by them. Gather courage to face attackers. It's not a crime to pick up things for self-defence. It's impossible to protect life and property without resistance.
"O youth, turn into fire. Hundreds-thousands of youths should be ready. Resist lumpens and ruling party goons with courage. Join people from the locality and take charge."
Papia Datta claimed that the CPI(M), which unleashed "violence and terror" to rule the state for 25 years, is trying to return to power employing the same tactics.
She also said that such a statement from a person who had served as a teacher for years is "unbecoming and unfair".
The BJP leader further said that the opposition party was "provoking violence" at a time when the BJP-IPFT government in the state is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and making all efforts to deliver necessary healthcare services to its people.
"The state government, led by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, has been doing a commendable job. It helped around seven lakh poor families by providing them Rs 1,000 each through direct benefit transfer and ration for two months. It is also funding the education of orphans."
"However, the opposition CPI(M) was trying to create panic by repeatedly alleging that activists and workers of ruling BJP are attacking their cadres," Papia Datta added.