Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) A day after a ruling Trinamool Congress leader stirred up controversy by exhorting his party workers to hurl bombs at police and damage houses of independent candidates in the West Bengal panchayat polls, intellectuals and opposition politicians Thursday lashed out at the regime for "terrorising" and "inciting violence."
"They (Trinamool) are doing it to terrorise and confuse the people in the rural areas. I have been to the rural areas and the situation there is markedly different from that in the metro. As a creative person, I am afraid of what might happen in the future," noted theatre actor Kaushik Sen told IANS.
He rued that the Trinamool is carrying forward the Communist Party of India-Marxist's (CPI-M)legacy of inciting violence among people.
Renowned painter Sameer Aich deplored the language the ruling party members are in the habit of using.
"I feel sad that the present ruling party is aping the culture of their predecessors against which we fought and which has been squarely rejected by the people. The sort of language they are using is despicable. Even people from the cultural word are saying such things," Aich told IANS.
CPI-M central committee member Mohammad Salim dubbed the use of such vile language as a "Trinamool syndrome".
"This is a Trinamool syndrome. This is the real face of the party from top to bottom. What he has said is a cognizable offence. Police should have initiated action. But none of the Trinamool leaders are condemning it. Because of such comments, violence is on the rise in the entire state," he said.
According to Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra, Mandal's comments undermine the democratic process.
"He is inciting violence. It is an ugly attempt to subvert the democratic processes and the constitutional order," he said.
State Industries Minister and Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee, however, termed Mandal's comments as an emotional outburst.
"The CPI-M is indulging in rampant political killings and bombing. Our supporters are at the receiving end. This is making some of our leaders emotional. And they are getting carried away during their speeches. Our party will look into what they have said," he said.
Addressing a rally Wednesday, Trinamool's Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal said: "If independent candidates give threats, then damage and set fire to their houses."
Asking the people not to vote for independent candidates, many of whom are believed to be dissident Trinamool workers, Mandal said: "If the administration thinks of supporting the independents, then you hurl bombs at the police and the administration. I am telling you."
However, facing widespread criticism, Mandal backtracked Thursday claiming it was a "slip of tongue."
While Mandal, in his hate speech, targeted independents and police, Trinamool MP and leading Bengali film actor Tapas Pal asked party workers to "beat up" CPI-M workers and drive them out of the villages.
"The CPI-M is a party of criminals.. beat them up, and drive them out of the villages," he said, while addressing an election rally in Nadia district.