New Delhi: Ahead of bypoll to Asansol Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal, a video of ruling TMC MLA Naren Chakraborty asking party workers to threaten BJP supporters has gone viral, triggering a backlash from the saffron party.
“Tell them, ‘If you vote, where you would be after voting is at your own risk’,” the video shows Trinamool’s Pandabeswar MLA Naren Chakraborty telling party workers.
The video was shared by several BJP leaders, including its IT cell head Amit Malviya and Leader of Opposition in Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari.
“Those who are hardcore BJP supporters, who cannot be influenced, they have to be threatened. Tell them, ‘If you go to vote, we will assume you will vote for BJP. Then, after the vote, where you will be is at your risk. And if you don’t go to vote, we will assume that you are supporting us, you stay well, go about your job or business, we are with you,” Chakraborty can be heard saying in the video.
Pandabeswar constituency is part of the Asansol Lok Sabha segment. A bypoll is due on April 12.
Sharing the video, Malviya tweeted, “Such criminals should be behind bars but in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee patronises them. ECI must take note.”
In a series of tweets, Suvendu Adhikari said Chakraborty was earlier a member of Burdwan Zilla Parishad and a president of Trinamool’s Pandabeswar block unit. He said the MLA had been detained at Kolkata airport in 2016 for trying to board a flight with an unlicensed gun and rounds of cartridges.
Meanwhile, a delegation of BJP MPs from Bengal led by state party chief Sukanta Majumdar met the Chief Election Commissioner in Delhi to complain about TMC MLA Naren Chakraborty threatening voters.
“This is a direct threat to voters from Pandaveshwar by their MLA Narendra Nath Chakraborty. We met the Chief Election Commissioner in the matter who has assured us to take action against him,” ANI quoted Sukanta Majumdar as saying.
The by-election on the Asansol Lok Sabha seat including four assembly seats is to be held on April 12. Babul Supriyo, an MP from the Asansol seat, had resigned from the Lok Sabha in October last year due to differences with the BJP, since then the seat has been vacant. He later joined TMC. BJP has fielded Agnimitra Paul against TMC candidate Shatrughan Sinha in Asansol Lok Sabha by-election.