Kolkata: A poster in the name of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) calling for a social boycott of 18 local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Paschim Medinipur district’s Keshpur has surfaced, causing flutter on social media in the political circles.
The poster sought to direct local shopkeepers to not serve tea to the BJP workers, adding that “stringent action” would be taken against the grocers who don’t follow the guideline.
According to locals, copies of the poster were circulated as leaflets among the shop owners in Keshpur’s Mahisda village. It was claimed to be issued by TMC’s 176 and 179 booth committees — under the name ‘Mahisda Sarbabharatiya Trinamool Congress’ — but it didn’t carry a date or a signature or office number.
The BJP has claimed that the latest incident is the “tip of the iceberg” as TMC is subjecting its workers to atrocities across the state.
On Saturday, top Union government leader, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked the Mamata Banerjee government to protect “all citizens” of West Bengal.
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) June 5, 2021
However, TMC leaders denied any involvement of the party in the publishing of the poster, alleging that it was taken out by either the BJP or the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to defame the party and malign the image of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The party said it will file an FIR against the conspiracy to malign the CM.
‘What more proof does anyone need’
BJP chief spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya called the latest incident the “tip of the iceberg”.
“Trinamool Congress has adopted various ways to intimidate and threaten our workers. This is just one of many. Over two dozen BJP workers have been killed in the state since the election results. What proof does anyone need to see the environment of violence in the state,” he told ThePrint.
West Bengal has witnessed a series of incidents of violence and political murders since the assembly elections results were declared on 2 May.
The BJP leaders claim that thousands of their workers were displaced. The party has kept them in shelter houses.
‘Not in a position to do this’
However, the local TMC leader claimed that the party didn’t need to “boycott 18 members” in an assembly seat that it has won with over 20,000 votes, even if the Mahisda village is a BJP stronghold now.
Keshpur MLA Seuli Saha told ThePrint that the details on the poster make it clear that it was made to defame TMC.
“In our party, booth committees do not take decisions. The header on the leaflet is also wrong. We do not write out the party’s name like that. It exposes the truth. Some amateur persons have done it to defame Trinamool Congress,” she said.
“The (Mahisda) area used to be a stronghold of CPM and now it has become a stronghold of BJP. Trinamool Congress is not in a position to publish and circulate such posters in that area. Moreover, we have won in the Keshpur assembly constituency. So why do we need to issue such posters against 18 families?” she asked.
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