KOLKATA: In an event that has become the focal point of an ego war between Trinamool Congress and BJP, a tribal couple who hosted BJP president Amit Shah for lunch at their residence in Naxalbari in Darjeeling district a week ago, joined TMC in the presence of state tourism minister Goutam Deb on Wednesday.
A red-faced BJP has alleged that the couple, Raju Mahali and Geeta Mahali, and their two children were kidnapped by Trinamool Congress workers on Tuesday and forced to join the ruling party. BJP’s Naxalbari block workers gheraoed Naxalbari police station after the police reportedly refused to file an FIR.
Speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that the Mahali couple was being harassed by three local TMC leaders since the time they had hosted Amit Shah on April 25. “We will approach Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and also file a complaint with the SC/ST Commission. The central leadership has also taken note of the forceful induction into TMC. We will hold massive protests against this kind of politics,” he said.
“TMC is now not only confined to buying legislators and councilors, but has touched new lows by taking pride in inducting people who hosted a top BJP leader. This is unprecedented in Bengal’s political history,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha. “This incident shows how much the ruling party is scared of BJP’s rise,” he added.
Rahul Sinha also claimed that TMC issued life threats to people who by Amit Shah met in Bhabanipur in central Kolkata, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s constituency.
On the other hand, tourism minister Goutam Deb said that the Mahali couple would be inducted in the Adivasi development department. “Politics is never forceful. I will speak to Raju and Geeta Mahali about the kind of work they want to do,” he said.