Kolkata: The BJP in West Bengal has demanded immediate sealing of the Indo-Bangla border, claiming madrasas operating along it are a breeding ground of terrorism and anti-national activities in the country.

“We all know that these madrasas in bordering areas are breeding ground of anti-national elements. These madrasas get funds from foreign countries. They are creating a chain, which is making the Indo-Bangla border vulnerable to anti-national activities, illegal cattle trade and smuggling,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh claimed.

Seeking to justify his claim, he referred to a purported statement of former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya that a section of madrasas in border areas were functioning as breeding ground of fundamentalism.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“Few years ago, the then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had said that madrasas in bordering areas of West Bengal are breeding grounds of fundamentalism. But later on he had retracted his statement due to pressure from his party. But you can’t take a chief minister’s comment lightly. Whatever he had said was on the basis of reports of IB and police,” Ghosh claimed.

He said the porous border that West Bengal shares with Bangladesh is a threat to national security. “Infiltration has stopped in northern and western part of India where it shares border with Pakistan. But infiltration from this side of Indo-Bangla border is still on. Whenever there has been a terror attack or blast, during investigation some of the clues have led to Bengal and its bordering areas.

The anti-national and anti-social elements are using this route to enter India,” Ghosh told PTI. “Why isn’t the state government, like the newly-elected government in Assam taking up the matter of sealing the Indo-Bangla border in Bengal,” said the 52-year-old MLA, who won the recent assembly elections from Kharagpur Sadar constituency in West Midnapore district.

The firebrand leader, who was inducted from RSS into the state BJP in early 2015, became the state president in December.

“We will fight against these bordering madrasas. Politically also we will inform the people about the anti-national activities going there. We will raise this issue in the state assembly and will also ask the state government to take action against these madrasas which are helping anti-national elements,” he said.

Ghosh, who time and again has courted controversies for his comments, claimed anti-national elements have chosen JNU, Jadavpur University and Hyderabad University to flare up anti-national sentiments across the country.

“These three universities have the same character – you will see anti-national slogans are being raised, slogans shouted in favour of Afzal Guru. You won’t find any controversy in other universities…”We won’t allow such activities in university campus which is against the culture and heritage of our country. These are nothing but indecency and shameless act,” he said.

The BJP, which had lost some steam after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, put up a spirited show in the West Bengal Assembly elections this time and played spoilsport for the opposition Left Front-Congress alliance in more than 70 seats. Although BJP’s vote share in West Bengal dipped since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from 17.5 percent to 10.2 percent in the recently concluded Assembly polls, yet for the first time the party won three seats fighting on its own in the state.

Earlier, BJP had won twice in by-polls and had polled around 4.06 percent votes in 2011. In this assembly polls, BJP garnered around 56 lakh votes, up from 19.5 lakh in 2011, and polled more than 10,000 votes in 262 out of 294 Assembly segments.

Ghosh said BJP will oppose anti-people policies of the TMC government and will emerge as the main opposition in the days to come. Apart from Ghosh, who defeated veteran Congress leader Gyan Singh Sohanpal, BJP won Malda’s Baishnabnagar seat and Madarihat seat in North Bengal.

“In 2014, we had secured 17 percent votes because of the Narendra Modi wave across the country. We didn’t have any organisational base in Bengal. This time there was no such wave. What we have got is because of the organisational strength of our party,” he said.

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Madrasas are ‘breeding ground of anti-national elements’, says West Bengal BJP chief