BJP cautions Mamata against attacking its workers

Kolkata, Aug 12 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party Monday cautioned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against attacking workers of the BJP, a party "which brought her back from political oblivion".

Speaking at a party convention here, BJP national general secretary Varun Gandhi accused Banerjee, "who got national prominence after becoming a minister in the NDA government", of organising attacks on BJP workers and supporters.

"She must not forget that she was made a minister in the NDA government which gave her prominence. I would urge Mamataji to shun arrogance and not to attack our workers. I also warn her that if the attacks continue, we will avenge each and every attack," he said.

Gandhi was referring to Banerjee's tenure as railways minister in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government after Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in as prime minister for the third time on Oct 13, 1999.

Banerjee then had recently created her Trinamool Congress after breaking away from the Congress.

Known for making provocative speeches, Gandhi also accused the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) of organising attacks on BJP workers in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal, claiming that over 100 of its workers and supporters were killed in the last few years.

Asserting that his party had a major role in the "reconstruction of Bengal", Gandhi - in charge of overseeing the party's organisation in the state - urged workers to pursue the developmental agenda.

"Simply attacking the Trinamool or the CPI-M won't get us votes. We need to adopt a developmental agenda and work towards strengthening the party here.

"In the last general elections, we were strong here in at least 15 seats. We need to increase that number. We must make our rivals realise that they cannot underestimate BJP," added Gandhi.

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