KOLKATA: West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Friday accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of trying to divert attention from the "anarchic and lawless situation" prevailing in the state by organising the grand Durga Puja Carnival in the city.
The programme is also aimed at diverting attention from the failures of the TMC government and Banerjee to protect the people, he said.
Claiming that several BJP workers were killed in West Bengal during the puja, he asked "Will the people be able enjoy a carnival when so many people are getting killed everyday in the state?" Ghosh told reporters that during Durga Puja five BJP workers had been killed, excluding the triple murder in Murshidabad.
"The school teacher who was killed in Murshidabad was our party supporter.
This only reflects the law and order situation in the state and how it has completely broken down.
"The state organizing the Puja carnival is nothing but an attempt to divert attention from the anarchic situation in the state," he said.
The BJP has sought time from President Ram Nath Kovind and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to apprise them about the "complete breakdown" of law and order in West Bengal national general secretary of the party Kailash Vijayvargiya said earlier in the day.
The state BJP leaders said the carnival is an attempt to woo the section of Hindus who have deserted the TMC due to its appeasement politics.
"The TMC is trying to create a hype as it wants to reach out to the Hindus in the state, post its dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
The poll results have sent out a strong message that Hindus can't be taken for granted in Bengal," said a senior BJP leader.
Referring to the TMC government's decision during a previous year to restrict the immersion ceremony due to Muharram, state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu alleged that under TMC rule Hindus are not being allowed to freely practice their religion in the state.
"The TMC government should apologize to the people for restricting the immersion ceremony of Durga Puja for Muharram.
There are also instances of Saraswati Puja not being allowed in various parts of Bengal.
Now after the Lok Sabha election result TMC has realized that their days in power in the state are numbered," Basu said.
The BJP bagged 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019, just four less than the ruling TMC.
The TMC's tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats.
The Trinamool Congress, however, refused to attach much importance to Ghosh's comment and said the BJP was trying to deflect attention of the people from the economic downturn facing the country.
"The BJP should stop making baseless allegations.
The law and order situation in Bengal is fine and the BJP is trying to disturb it.
It (BJP) is trying to deflect attention from the economic downturn through its propaganda of muscular nationalism," senior TMC leader Tapas Roy said.
A total of 75 community pujas from in and around the city, all recipients of 'Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman, 2019' instituted by the state government participated in the carnival on Friday, officials said.
Banerjee, her cabinet colleagues and many foreigners, including officials of consulates of different countries, were present on the occasion.