New Delhi: BJP MP Locket Chatterjee broke down at a press conference on Friday and recalled the alleged incidents of sexual harassment on women candidates, saying the West Bengal panchayat polls were “nothing but a shameful phase of violence and atrocities against women”.
The Hooghly MP said that on July 8, the day of the panchayat elections, a BJP gram sabha candidate was stripped naked and molested inside a polling booth in Howrah’s Panchla town.
The MP further said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the Manipur issue, he had also asked other states to strengthen law and order. He was referring to PM comments A day after a purported video of two women being paraded naked by a group of men in Manipur went viral on social media.
#Watch , BJP MP Locket Chatterjee breaks down in tears while recollecting the alleged incident of sexual harassment of a BJP candidate by TMC workers during panchayat elections in West Bengal’s Howrah district on July 8. pic.twitter.com/45VdDGqDXi
— ANI (@ANI) 21 July 2023
Chatterjee’s press conference came a day after Modi made comments during his address ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament.
The BJP MP questioned the “silence” of not only West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, but also Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Sonia Gandhi.
“Congress has also joined hands with Mamata Banerjee now. That is why both Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are silent. These people cry in other states but are silent in West Bengal,” Chatterjee said.
She further said, ‘We are also women. We are also the daughters of this country. West Bengal is also a part of India. We also want to save our daughters. We want you to talk about the daughters of our region as well.”
Describing the incident in Manipur as “extremely unfortunate”, he said, “We condemn it. But what happened in West Bengal is equally shameful. The election held in West Bengal is not a panchayat election but an ‘election of blood’. These elections were nothing but a shameful phase of violence and atrocities against women.”
The MP broke down while addressing the press conference and urged people to ‘pay attention to the daughters of West Bengal too’.
One Year The report on Friday quoted West Bengal DGP Manoj Malviya as saying that the police investigated the alleged assault of the BJP candidate, but found no evidence.
ANI also published an interview of the alleged victim.
West Bengal | “They dragged me outside the polling station by the hair and threw me down the stairs. They also tore my clothes. Later, I went to a nearby house to borrow clothes to wear. Had they been there, they could have done anything to me. They saved me. I… pic.twitter.com/jg5XR43qS2
— ANI (@ANI) 21 July 2023
‘No video because everyone had guns in their hands’
According to Chatterjee, on July 11, on the day of counting in Domjur, a candidate from Mamta’s TMC was also attacked. He also lodged an FIR. But there is no video because people were carrying guns inside the booth. Will we talk about such issues only when a video goes viral? Why is everyone maintaining silence in these matters?”
Hitting out at Mamata, Chatterjee said that a lot of cases of violence and atrocities against women are not being registered in Bengal. “Despite being a woman chief minister, Mamata Banerjee is not stopping atrocities on women,” she said in tears.
Elaborating on the alleged incident of sexual harassment of a BJP gram sabha candidate, he said, “There is no video because everyone present there had guns in their hands”.
Meanwhile, BJP’s West Bengal chief Sukant Majumdar said, “The incident that happened in Manipur is very sad, we strongly condemn it, such an incident should not happen anywhere.” Is it less tragic than Manipur?
“The only difference is that there is no video in it. Because Mamata Banerjee’s police and goons do not allow anyone to make videos,” he alleged.
Soon after his press conference, the BJP held another press conference highlighting cases of atrocities against women in Rajasthan.
Union minister Gajendra Shekhawat said, “According to media reports, 17 to 18 rape incidents are happening every day in Rajasthan and about 5 to 7 murder cases are registered every day.”
He said, “When a woman MLA of Congress is questioned about incidents of atrocities on women in Rajasthan, she says ‘I am not safe even though I am under protection’.”
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)