Even as buses and a train were set ablaze today by protesters agitating against the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the state BJP accused the ruling Trinamul Congress of refraining from taking strong measures thereby continuing a policy of appeasement with an eye on the minority vote bank. Meanwhile, Congress and Left Front leaders closed ranks in support of the protests, but both expressed reservation at the mode of the agitation during the day. When buses and a train have been set on fire today, police remained inactive under instruction from some ministers of the TMC government, BJP state president, Dilip Ghosh said.

These are the same men in uniform who lathi-charge BJP activists when they are marching in a procession but they looked the other way during the day when public transport and a railway station were set on fire, he added. The reason behind such inaction is the past sins of a political party which utilised a community as a vote bank but did nothing to ensure its social and economic uplift, Ghosh, a BJP MP from Kharagpur said. But after having utilised them for its own ends, this political outfit is doing nothing to calm it down when it is agitating against a law of the land, he said.

CM Mamata Banerjee cannot shrug off her share of blame for the day’s vandalism, the BJP state president said. She is asking some people to agitate but not ordering any strong administrative step when government property was being damaged, he added. The Trinamul leaders who are encouraging the protesters should be arrested, senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha said during the day. If the state of affairs remain unchanged, President’s Rule, which TMC often welcomed during the Left Front regime, will be declared in the state next year, he added. Some people are venting their angst at the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), Congress Rajya Sabha member Pradip Bhattacharya said during the day.

Our party activists have already hit the streets in protest against the CAB and we request the agitators to adopt non-violent means to register their protest, he said. A section of the population has been placed in a realm of insecurity by the passing of CAB which is against the secular character of the Constitution, senior CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said. “Our party’s protest to begin on 16 December will be a pointer to the aggrieved persons on the path they should tread to give vent to their resentment, he felt.