Hours after BJP working president JP Nadda accused the Mamata Banerjee government of imposing "jungle raj" on West Bengal, a senior Trinamool Congress leader on Saturday shot back by saying that the politician wouldn't know what development looks like because he comes from a jungle himself.
"He (Nadda) himself has come from the jungle, and that is why he sees jungle raj everywhere. He sees a jungle even in West Bengal, which has set a record in terms of developmental work. This is unfortunate," Firhad Hakim, who is also a member of the state cabinet, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Mr Hakim said it was the BJP-led central government that was causing turmoil in the country while doing little to resolve its economic and employment problems. "People are losing jobs, the economy has nosedived, many are being killed over religion and caste... can't he (Nadda) see any misrule or jungle raj in that?" he asked.
JP Nadda had made the "jungle raj" comment at an event held to honour BJP workers who lost their lives to political violence in West Bengal over the last few years. "The Mamata Banerjee government lacks vision and direction. It is only interested in intimidating opposition parties through state-sponsored terrorism," he said, adding that the Trinamool Congress will not survive the 2021 assembly elections.
The BJP, which strengthened its standing in West Bengal in the recent Lok Sabha polls, has said that it will win at least 250 of the state's 294 assembly seats in the upcoming electoral contest.
During the event, JP Nadda interacted with families of dead BJP workers and assured them of the party's support in the days to come. "There is jungle raj and reign of terror in West Bengal under the Trinamool Congress. The state is witnessing goonda raj as there is no rule of law here... The families of dead BJP workers are not getting justice. But this jungle raj will end soon because the Trinamool government's days are coming to an end," he told reporters later.
JP Nadda, who was on his first visit to Bengal after taking over as the party's working president, also claimed that the state's law-enforcement agencies were in cahoots with Trinamool workers. "The police are not lodging cases. They have turned into mute spectators. In fact, your protectors have turned predators," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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