A leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Yogesh Varshney sent shockwaves across the country when he offered a bounty of Rs. 11 lakhs for the severed head of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He issued the threat after a large group of people raising slogans praising Rama on Hanuman Jayanti, were dispersed by the police using batons.
“Mamta Government beat up people. If someone was wearing a red shirt or a red pant they were brutally beaten up by the police,” stated Varshney, adding “Banerjee organises Iftar parties, she argues for the Muslims.” He then crossed all lines by placing a bounty on her head, stating “if anyone brings me her severed head I will give that person 11 lakhs.”
The issue erupted in Suri (Birbhum district), West Bengal on Tuesday when police lathi-charged a group of people who tried to break iron barricades put up by the police, while shouting slogans of “Shri Ram.” The police had made the announcement on Sunday that they would not be allowing any rallies to be held on Tuesday, Hanuman Jayanti. But despite the ban, several groups went ahead and held rallies.
The TMC and BJP have clashed on several instances prior to this incident too. Mamata Banerjee had criticised the BJP and RSS for brandishing swords a couple of weeks ago on Ram Navami. Responding to her criticism was BJP and RSS sympathiser VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), which accused the West Bengal CM of Being anti-Hindu. A VHP leader had stated then that no such criticism came forth when Muslims carry weapons on Muharram processions, accusing Mamata Banerjee of being a practitioner of divisive politics.
The matter was raised in the Parliament by TMC members who demanded action against Varshney. Several other parties also voiced support in call for action. Jaya Bachchan, actor-turned politician and Samajwadi MP, condemned the incident strongly. She said that the BJP was more worried about protecting cows than women in the country.
The BJP has however distanced itself from the issue saying that the West Bengal Government is free to take action against the youth leader Varshney.