Amit Shah ‘lying’, says TMC MP Derek O’Brien; submits video footage to EC

A delegation of Trinamool MPs called on the Election Commission to complain against BJP workers instigating violence, raising provocative slogans and vandalising a bust of Vidyasagar in Kolkata

TM MP Derek O’Brien (centre), with TMC Parliamentary team Manish Gupta (left) and Sukhendu Sekhar Ray (right). NH Photo by Vipin
TM MP Derek O’Brien (centre), with TMC Parliamentary team Manish Gupta (left) and Sukhendu Sekhar Ray (right). NH Photo by Vipin

Ashlin Mathew

The day after suspected BJP workers vandalised the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and attacked Vidyasagar College during Amit Shah’s Road Show in Calcutta, a Trinamool Parliamentary team comprising Derek O’Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Manish Gupta, and Nadimul Haque met the Election Commission and submitted proof of BJP workers’ involvement in the desecration.

Of the several videos submitted as proof, one of them shows a group of men wearing saffron coloured T-shirts breaking open the locks on the gate, scaling walls and entering the campus of the college before breaking the bust. “All of it can be seen in the video. It is quite childish to ask who had the lock to the keys of the gate. It can be seen in the video who were breaking open the lock,” emphasised O’Brien, the TMC MP.

“We are trying to obtain and authenticate audio of slogans like ‘Vidyasagar finished, where is the Josh’ raised during the violence,” O’Brien said and alleged that all of this is to divert attention from the repolls ordered in 1,679 booths in Tripura among 1700 booths in the state. “Who is controlling Tripura? In Bengal, re-poll has been ordered only in six polling stations out of the 42,000 in the state. They know they are losing Bengal,” insists O’Brien.

Pointing towards the images of men in CRPF fatigues walking around with the BJP leader Dilip Ghosh in Medinipur O’Brien asked, “Is CRPF also in cahoots with the BJP?”

National Herald caught up with O’Brien for an exclusive interview after his press conference in Delhi. Edited excerpts of the interview:

Amit Shah said that if the Central forces were not there, his life would have been in danger?

Really! is all I have to say. We play by the rules. We have just shown you more than three videos. You decide. He is a liar.

BJP president Amit Shah has stated that the goons who vandalised the statue were TMC workers...

Amit Shah is lying. He is a con-master. Amit Shah can say what he wants, after all he is puke-worthy Shah. There is enough video footage to show that they brought all the goons from outside and they have indulged in all this violence. They have desecrated the icon of Bengal Renaissance.

In the press-conference, you mentioned that they were raising slogans ‘where is the Josh’...was it in Bengali?

No, I did not say that. What you heard was their men chanting ‘where is the Josh’. They were sloganeering ‘Vidyasagar ko khatam karo, where is the josh’. Or something like that. You have seen the videos; they were all authentic. We even showed you a video where it was shown that the guy is stating that several had landed one day before. He is a goon who had become a BJP member a few months ago in Calcutta.

There are several news reports that BJP has brought in four trains full of men for Amit Shah’s rally. Did they intend for the violence?

They can’t even fill a ground. They have violated the code of Conduct. Several drunken outsiders were indulging in violence. Did they think they could use ‘fear’ in their favour?

Several of them have been arrested; at least 45-50 have already been held. Don’t know how many trains. Whoever comes to the state must do a three-day workshop to understand the basic culture and ethos of Bengal.Maybe they should try and eat some non-vegetarian food also. When we perform Durga Pujo and Kali Puja, we eat non-vegetarian food too. Everyone in Bengal can do what they want. Calcutta is a cosmopolitan city and Bengal is a cosmopolitan state, so all this imported Shah and Modi can go. All their imported Gujarati style of doing politics is terrible.

After this election where will Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi go? Shah will go back to Gujarat and Modi probably have to look for acting roles in Hollywood with the help of Canadian actor Akshay Kumar.

What do you think will happen in this election?

I am hopeful because it is not whether India will vote for BJP or against BJP, India will vote for ‘what is the idea of India’ and ‘what is not the idea of India’.

BJP is losing in the Hindi belt and they have been hoping to gain some seats from the East. Is that possible?

What do you mean they are losing only in the Hindi heartland? They are losing in the Southern heartland as well. So, then South is gone, North is gone. They can hope to win in Bengal, since there is no GST on hope. It’s a democracy. They can come there, fight, make a fool of themselves. But, they forgot that there is a tigress in Bengal.

Why do you think BJP has been resorting to violence?

They know they are going to lose there.

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Published: 15 May 2019, 7:13 PM