Frame BJP Woman With Cannabis Case: Video Shows New TMC-BJP Low
Mandal said that if the workers could not “control” the BJP leader, they had to plant a fake drug case against her.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mandal courted controversy yet again as he was caught on camera purportedly instructing his party workers to get a party rebel and a woman BJP leader arrested on a false case of possessing cannabis.
Mandal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Birbhum district president, was presiding over a meeting in the Aushgram assembly constituency in neighbouring Burdwan East district on Sunday when the purported video was shot.
He is the party's observer in three assembly constituencies – Mangalkot, Ausgram and Ketugram – in East Burdwan district.
The video went viral Sunday night, 2 September, and kicked up a political storm in the state with the opposition accusing the ruling Trinamool of using the police to settle the score with the opposition.
Under the anti-narcotics law, a minimum jail term of six months is awarded for possessing up to 1 kg of cannabis, while the punishment for possessing a larger quantity could lead to prison term of up to 20 years.
Can’t Control Them, Arrest Them: Mandal
In the video, Mandal is seen instructing party workers, by saying:
Arrest the man whom we have excluded from the five-member committee. Also, that woman, that plump one. What’s her name? The one owning a garment shop, get her arrested too. She is a BJP worker. Can you control them? Tell me if you can control them, otherwise we will arrest them in a cannabis case and put them behind bars.Anubrata Mandal
Bengal Agriculture Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Ashis Bandopadhyay was also present in the meeting.
The five-man committee mentioned in the clip is the one formed by the district unit of the Trinamool Congress to look after the development work in the constituency.
BJP Reacts to Video
Reacting to Anubrat Mandal's threat, Sangita Chakraborty, a BJP leader in Aushgram, said the video clip proves how the TMC uses police to settle the score with political opponents.
"This is how political opponents are being put behind bars in the TMC regime. What do they mean by cannabis case? Does that mean all the cannabis cases against politicians of opponent parties are false and fabricated?" she questioned.
TMC Claims Video “Fabricated”
Asked for his reaction to Anubrat Mandal's assertion, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said he had not seen the video and so he could not comment on it.
The vice-president of the TMC's Birbhum district, Avijit Sinha, said the video had been "fabricated" to malign Mondal and the party. "We feel that the video that has gone viral is a fabricated one. It has been done to malign the party," Sinha said.
Anubrat Mandal had courted controversy in July 2013 when he asked his supporters at a public meeting in Birbhum to hurl bombs at the police and burn down houses of rebel TMC candidates in panchayat elections.
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