Kolkata/New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) At least 70 family members of slain Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists in West Bengal will attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in on Thursday, a state BJP leader said on Wednesday.
The members will reach New Delhi by Rajdhani Express on Thursday morning.
The saffron outfit has claimed that 54 of their party activists were killed in the political violence allegedly orchestrated by the Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress in the last one year.
“The party has decided to take the family members of our activists, who were killed in widespread political violence unleashed by the Trinamool Congress, to attend Modi ji’s oath-taking ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. We have shortlisted 70 family members so far,” BJP state Secretary Tushar Kanti Ghosh told IANS.
“One or two family members of each of the deceased activists have been shortlisted. Relatives of approximately 50 of our deceased activists are going. They are scheduled to come back on May 31,” he said.
Relatives of all three BJP activists — Sishupal Sahish, Trilochan Mahato and Dulal Kumar — who were killed and hanged from tress in Bengal’s Purulia district are among those going to Delhi.
Relatives of the deceased activists, who gathered at the Howrah railway station to board the train on Wednesday afternoon, accused Trinamool Congress for the tragedy and said they are going to the Prime Minister’s swearing ceremony to seek justice.
“My son was killed by the police and no one has been punished yet. It is a great opportunity for us to be able to meet the Prime Minister. We will demand CBI inquiry into our son’s death. We want the offenders to be punished,” said the father of Tapas Barman, one of the two youth BJP activists cum students of north Dinajpur district’s Darivit High School, who were allegedly shot dead by Bengal police while protesting against the recruitment of Urdu teachers.
“My father was killed by the Trinamool Congress backed goons year ago after the state Panchayat elections. BJP had won in our Gram Panchayat.My father resisted some Trinamool supporters from giving proxy votes. After the result came out, they murdered him,” said a youth from nadia district’s Shantipur.
“Most of us have lost our close ones in the violence. We want urge the Prime Minister to ensure strictest of action to the offenders so that no one else has to lose their father or brother anymore,” he said with tears in his eyes.
The invitation to these families is being seen as a message to West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee ahead of Assembly elections scheduled in 2021.
During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Modi and BJP President Amit Shah repeatedly highlighted the issue of violence directed at the party in West Bengal.
The BJP won 303 seats on its own in the Lok Sabha elections, and in West Bengal it took its tally to 18 from two in 2014.