Press Trust of india

Karnataka bill, Sandeshkhali show Sanatan Dharma eradication is opposition’s campaign: BJP

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New Delhi: The BJP on Friday launched a broadside on opposition parties over the alleged targeting of Hindus in West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, claiming this shows that the assertion about the eradication of ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is not merely a statement but part of a campaign.

BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi hit out at West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress government for not allowing his party’s leaders, including a group of women comprising legislators and others, to visit trouble-torn Sandeshkhali and not arresting Shajahan Sheikh, a local TMC strongman.

Sheikh has been accused by some women in Sandeshkhali of running a ring of TMC members involved in land grabs and sexual assault.

Trivedi told reporters that Sheikh is being probed in a corruption case taken up by the Enforcement Direction (ED) and is also an accused in a violent attack on the agency’s officials.

Such a “multi-dimension criminalisation” of politics and protection of the accused is unprecedented in Indian politics, he claimed.

On January 5, a team of ED officers were assaulted by a mob when they tried to enter the residence of Shajahan at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Three officers were injured in the attack.

The district police and Sheikh’s family members had lodged a complaint against the ED officers. Shajahan has been absconding since then.

Trivedi told reporters that it was not only about the West Bengal government protecting him but there was a particular mindset which believes in “secular protection” of some people irrespective of the crimes and atrocities they commit.

While “secular parties” are keeping mum because they weigh the complaints of women against their vote-bank politics, even the self-proclaimed champions of women’s rights have maintained silence, he said.

This is not merely an incident but a phenomenon which has destroyed Bengal for over two centuries, the Rajya Sabha member said as he referred to targeting of women and Hindus in the past.

It is not about Hindus and Muslims. Some parties believe in protecting radicals and criminal elements among Muslims to maintain their hold on power and are not concerned about the future, he alleged.

Citing a new law passed in Karnataka which mandates that the state government will collect 10 per cent of the income of temples that have revenues of more than Rs 1 crore and the earlier comments of some DMK leaders in Tamil Nadu criticising ‘Sanatan Dharma’, he said all these developments, including the Sandeshkhali incident, show that the “eradication of Sanatan Dharma is not merely a statement but a campaign”.

These parties gave Haj subsidy, now scrapped, and imposed taxes on temples, he said.

Leaders of the DMK, the Congress’ biggest ally in south India, have compared Sanatan Dharma to dengue and HIV, and spoke of eradicating it, Trivedi said.

He said the Congress and its allies have a history as he noted that the government led by Jawaharlal Nehru had brought a law to override court judgments on regulating Hindu temples.

Targeting Rahul Gandhi, the BJP leader said he has not spoken a word about these developments.

While West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is also his party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, says there is no democracy in the state, its national leadership calls for allying with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to “save” democracy in the country, Trivedi said.

The Congress finds nothing wrong in climbing over the dead bodies of its workers to get closer to power, he alleged, adding that members of the main opposition party have been the victims of political violence in the state as well.

Referring to the alleged targeting of Hindus and political protection for criminals, he said the subject is extremely important and is bigger than party politics and elections.

This attitude since the last century has greatly harmed the Indian society and divided the country, Trivedi said, asserting that people will punish the Congress and its INDIA bloc allies.

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