Jharkhand Congress working president Bandhu Tirkey created controversy on Monday by asking party workers to “thrash” BJP activists “if required”.
Tirkey was speaking at a sit-in of the ruling UPA near the Raj Bhavan here against the saffron party and the ED summons to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Income Tax search against two Congress MLAs.
BJP reacted sharply to Tirkey and its national vice-president Raghubar Das cautioned the UPA supporters not to touch a BJP worker “even by mistake”.
The Enforcement Directorate had summoned Soren for questioning on November 3 in a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal mining in the state. Soren had skipped the summons and went to Chhattisgarh to attend a pre-scheduled programme and is stated to have sought three weeks’ time to appear before the central probe agency.
On November 4, the Income Tax department conducted searches at properties linked to Jharkhand Congress MLAs Kumar Jaimangal and Pradip Yadav. The MLAs had alleged that the searches were carried out under BJP’s pressure.
JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya addressing the gathering said the BJP will never be successful in its agenda to topple the Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand as the people of the state are with him in the development of the state.
Tirkey created controversy by saying “We are not against any investigation. But if it is done with political vendetta, a proper reply will be given.” He then went on to say “I urge party workers to expose the BJP and if required thrash the BJP workers.” Several JMM and Congress senior leaders and legislators including Badal Patralekh, Mathura Mahto, Rajya Sabha MP Mahua Majhi also took part in the protest.
Reacting to Tirkey’s comments, Das tweeted “First (UPA) involved in corruption and if caught, incite violence. BJP workers do not get thrashed, they give the befitting reply.” “(UPA) Don’t touch them (BJP workers) even by mistake,” he cautioned.
The saffron party launched a weeklong block-level agitation on Monday.
BJP senior leader Babulal Marandi, who led the agitation at Gandey block in Giridih district, said “The entire state is in trouble due to the anti-people policies of the Hemant Soren government,” he said.
BJP state president, Deepak Prakash led the protest at Baharagora block in East Singhbhum district. PTI