Kolkata: After BJP president J P Nadda spoke against President’s rule in West Bengal and emphasised following “democratic processes”, senior party leader Mukul Roy on Sunday argued that Article 356 needed to be imposed in the state “immediately” to restore democracy, and Bengal minder Kailash Vijayvargiya said the party would appeal to Election Commission for deployment of Central forces “now”.
“I know my party president or other party seniors may not agree to this, but I feel Article 356 needs to be imposed immediately if we have to restore democracy in the state. However, this is my opinion and not the party’s,” Roy said at a press conference in Kolkata on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Vijayvargiya had spoken in favour of imposing President’s rule in the state. On Sunday, he told reporters in Bolpur: “We will urge the EC to allow people to cast their votes without fear. To stop this terror and violence, we will seek immediate deployment of central forces.”
Roy said: “A total of 136 party workers have died so far. Had Nadda-ji’s car not been a bulletproof one, he could have been heavily injured. There is no rule of law in the state.” Nadda’s convoy was attacked and several cars were damaged on Friday when he was going to attend a programme in South 24 Parganas.
Commenting on the spat between the Centre and the state over transfer of IPS officers, Roy said: “The officials who toe the line of the government here get privileges. A 2005 DoPT order says that if there is a difference of opinion between the Center and the state, the central order will prevail.”
The BJP also announced a statewide campaign against unemployment. “Unemployment is around 18% in West Bengal. There were irregularities in TET, primary teacher appointment. People in Singur do not have the means for livelihood. We will reach 75 lakh unemployed youth with the employment guarantee card,” said Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Saumitra Khan.
“It is their right to get jobs and means of livelihood. If voted to power, we will provide them with jobs,” Khan added.
Roy, who was part of the Singur movement that resulted in the ouster of Tata Motors from Bengal, said: “Tata Motors’ experience here has set a bad precedent for industrialists and they are jittery now. It was the biggest mistake to drive Tata Motors away from the state. I had pointed that out repeatedly,” he said.
Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah is likely to visit Midnapore on December 19, BJP sources said. The next day, Shah is likely to participate in a padayatra and address a meeting of party workers in Bolpur. BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya visited Bolpur on Sunday and met Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty. Party leader Anupam Hazra indicated that Shah might visit Santiniketan as a “Tagore admirer” and informally interact with teachers and officials.