On Tuesday, the BJP candidate from West Bengal’s Basirhat Lok Sabha seat has raised controversy with his comments, which he claims people who will try to capture booths during the elections should be “shot to death”.  

During an event in Basirhat, Sayantan Basu said that “if goons try to capture booths on polling day, I will tell the CRPF that their bullets must go through the heart and not at the feet. This is a fight to save democracy.”

Mr. Basu referred to incidents across the state last year during the Panchayat Elections, when the TMC workers were alleged of capturing booths and erupted violence against BJP workers, as the main reason behind him calling to “shoot troublemakers”.

He is also the BJP’s General Secretary in West Bengal, claims if rivals caused trouble on election days, he will ask the paramilitary forces to open fire on them and “shoot to kill”. Mr. Basu’s message to party workers and supporters was not different as well.  

He continued, “I am telling BJP workers, don’t cry if you are thrashed. Simply hit back. Don’t beat up innocent people and the poor, but don’t leave the troublemakers. You will die only once. Kill those who come to kill you before you die.”

Sayantan Basu further instructed women to keep their traditional knives- daa and bonti – sharpened so that they could smartly deal with troublemakers.

A senior Trinamool leader Jyotipriyo Mullick said that TMC will inform the Election Commission (EC) about his comments and seek necessary action against him, adding that “the BJP is trying to vitiate the poll atmosphere by making such provocative statements. The EC should take action against him.”

Trinamool has further pointed out that the central police observer has been appointed for April-May Lok Sabha Elections in Jharkhand, and Bengal. A former Director General of BSF, KK Sharma was seen in a picture attending an event backed by RSS in February 2018.  

TMC leader Derek O’Brien tweets, “What is a serving BSF DG KK Sharma doing in uniform at the RSS-backed NGOs function in Kolkata? We will take the issue to the home minister.”

The state will vote in seven rounds starting from April 11 and conclude on May 19.

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