A day after the arrest of West Bengal BJP leader Rakesh Singh in a drug case, the party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Wednesday accused the Mamata Banerjee government of playing “dirty vendetta politics”.
“The Mamata Banerjee government is playing dirty vendetta politics. Rakesh Singh is a popular and efficient leader with a trade union background and support of thousands of workers in Kolkata. So, cases are being framed against him,” Vijavargiya told The Indian Express in a brief interview.
Vijayvargiya, the BJP in-charge of West Bengal, said there have been “weird charges” against him also. “I do not know what all I have been accused of. I am allegedly a child seller, rapist and various other things. Now every morning I get up preparing myself to face any kind of weird accusation,” the BJP leader said, adding that he has even quipped to the party leadership that while security personnel may protect his life, his dignity too faces a threat.
Singh, a BJP state committee member and the convener of the party’s Basti cell, was arrested in connection with the arrest of Pamela Goswami, BJP Yuva Morcha state secretary, for possession of 76 gm of heroin. Goswami has alleged that Singh had hatched a conspiracy to frame her. She also named Vijayvargiya as a leader close to Singh.
Asked about the reports, Vijavargiya said, “Who is this Pamela Goswami? I don’t even know her. What leader is she? I do not think such allegations are worth a reaction.”
He added, “It seems she is under a lot of pressure to blame BJP leaders. That is the usual practice here. They (the TMC) blackmail people, arrest them and put pressure on them to name party leaders. This is the dirty game they play to counter the BJP’s political surge.
“Now BJP leader Arjun Singh, who was ‘pure’ when he was with the TMC, has 104 cases against him, and there are over 60 cases against (former TMC leader and current BJP vice president) Mukul Roy,” he pointed out.
Vijavargiya added that instances like Goswami’s charges have resulted in the BJP being “on guard” over the flow of people into the party. “We have not only stopped taking every leader who wants to join us, but also put some scrutiny on those whom we are inducting. It has been in place since last month,” he said.
He said the state police used to also work at the behest of the TMC government. “But now things are slowly changing, they are becoming a bit balanced,” he said.
The BJP leader also insisted that recent moves by the CBI and ED against TMC leaders were long pending. “It’s just a coincidence that the action comes now. The investigations have been on for a while,” he said.
Vijavargiya said the BJP, which is making deep inroads across West Bengal, will in its campaigns focus on three issues — the failures of the TMC government, its corruption, nepotism and the mafias it has been running; secondly, what the BJP can offer and the changes the party would bring in higher education, law and order, industry and infrastructure development and in the agriculture sector; and thirdly, the transparency in governance that would be brought in by a BJP government.
“For the BJP what works in its advantage is people’s faith in Narendra Modi’s leadership,” Vijavargiya said. “People in Bengal have already tested the Congress, CPI(M) and the TMC, but the state is going backward. So they are now desperate for a change. You wait and see, the BJP will do better than its performance in the Lok Sabha polls.. People should be allowed to come to the polling booths and vote. Then we will win two third of the seats.”