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The death of a BJP booth-level leader in West Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district kept the political cauldron on the boil in the state as the saffron camp alleged that he was murdered by the Trinamool Congress, drawing a riposte from the ruling TMC which dubbed the allegations as “baseless”.
BJP booth president of Moyna, Bijaykrishna Bhunia, was reportedly beaten up by “TMC goons” in front of his wife on his way back home on Monday evening and was forcibly taken away by them in a motorbike, the saffron party claimed.
“Today is the second anniversary of the post-poll violence that started in the state in 2021 on May 2 after TMC came to power. The killing of BJP leader Bijay Krishna Bhunia is a gift to the state’s people to mark this anniversary,” BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari said.
The TMC came to power in West Bengal for the third time in a row in 2021. The result of the assembly election was announced on May 2, 2021.
Moyna is considered a backyard of Mr Adhikari, and the saffron camp has considerable influence. Former cricketer and BJP leader Ashok Dinda is MLA from the area.
Mr Adhikary demanded a CBI probe into the incident even though the party called a 12-hour shutdown in the area on Wednesday.
Mr Bhunia’s body, with an injury mark on the head, was found on Monday late at night at a distance from his residence, the police said.
“We are investigating the incident,” a police officer said.
BJP national vice-president and Medinipur MP, Dilip Ghosh, alleged that TMC had increased its “atrocities” on party workers affiliated to opposition parties in the area to create an “environment of terror” to win the panchayat elections in the state, which were slated later this month.
Dismissing any involvement in the incident, the TMC claimed it resulted from a family dispute.
“As far as we know, this is an outcome of a family dispute. The allegations against us are baseless. We, too, want the culprits to be arrested,” former TMC MLA of Moyna, Sangram Dolui, said.
Echoing him, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the BJP is trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the state.
“Whenever any BJP worker is found dead, they blame the TMC without any proof, there have been several such instances in previous cases. Later the allegations were proved wrong. Let the police investigate the matter and bring out the truth,” he said.