WB: BJP worker found dead on brink of Shah's visit
On the brink of Union Home Minister Amit Shah's arrival in Kolkata, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth leader was found dead under mysterious circumstances on Thursday. The incident added fuel to the political fire between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP in West Bengal. The deceased was identified as Arjun Chowrasia. Several celebratory events to welcome Shah were canceled after the incident.
- Amit Shah is on his first WB visit following the Assembly poll debacle at TMC's hands last year.
- His visit is seen as a confidence-building measure for the BJP cadre.
- The BJP also lost bypolls in WB last month as the TMC continued its winning spree. Ex-BJP leaders—Shatrughan Sinha and Babul Supriyo—won the Asansol Lok Sabha and Ballygunge Assembly bypolls, respectively, on TMC tickets.
The deceased, Chowrasia, 27, was a member of the BJP's youth wing. He was found hanging in an abandoned building near his residence in north Kolkata. As per reports, he was preparing to lead a bike rally later on Friday planned to welcome Shah to Kolkata. The BJP has accused TMC of murdering Chowrasia, which the latter strongly denied.
Senior West Bengal BJP leader Rahul Sinha has blamed top Trinamool Congress leaders for Chowrasia's death. "Our worker Arjun Chowrasia was murdered and hanged in the same Trinamool-style only because Home Minister Amit Shah's programs are scheduled [on Friday]," he alleged. "It's not only the lower level TMC leaders who are involved in this incident but even the top leadership is involved," he added.
"This continuous slaying of opponent political workers highlights the demise of democracy in West Bengal," the BJP's West Bengal unit said in a tweet. It added, "57 BJP workers were massacred in the last year. Humanity is smothered by the TMC!" Meanwhile, on the directions of Shah, the BJP has canceled all the celebration events for the Union Home Minister following Chowrasia's death.
On the other hand, the TMC has denied the charges against the party levied by the BJP. It termed the allegations of political killings as baseless. "Let the police investigate the matter," said Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen.