Violence against opp workers harming TMC-ruled Bengal’s image: Union minister Thakur

Kolkata, Jan 22 (PTI) Union minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday asserted that the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is perpetrating violence against opposition workers, which is affecting the state’s image and future investments.

The minister of sports and youth affairs was talking to reporters after visiting the ancestral home of Swami Vivekananda in north Kolkata.

The senior BJP leader said it is a matter of regret that the land of luminaries like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas Chandra Basu and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee is now getting its image severely dented by the “TMC’s misrule”.

Alleging that democracy is in peril in West Bengal, he said, “I hear that the media is gagged here. That should not happen in the land of Kabiguru (Tagore), Swamiji and Netaji. Bengal’s image is getting harmed.”

“The post-poll violence against political opponents shows no sign of abating. Attacks on elected representatives are continuing. Bengal’s image gets sullied and investors are not coming. I ask Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee if such violence helps in getting employment opportunities for the youths of the state,” he said without providing specific instances.

The BJP’s Midnapore MP Dilip Ghosh and BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar earlier faced protests from TMC activists during their programmes in districts.

Paying tribute to Swamy Vivekananda, Thakur said his birth anniversary is observed as National Youth Day in the country to instil his ideals among lakhs of youths in the country.

Reacting to Thakur’s accusations, TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh claimed West Bengal’s track record on the law and order front is far better than states ruled by ‘double engine governments’ (BJP administration at the Centre and in a state).

“Please read central reports about the law and order situation in Bengal, about safety of women, about human rights,” he said and charged Thakur with indulging in cheap politics.

The Union minister also took part in other programmes in the city.