New Delhi: Just a day after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal filed two FIRs against state BJP president Dilip Ghosh for his now-infamous hateful remark on anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protestors, the saffron party leader on Wednesday stood by his statement and said if BJP comes to power, they will “shoot these protestors”.

Dilip Ghosh recently became infamous for making a provocative comment suggesting that those agitating against Centre’s Citizenship law were “shot like dogs” in BJP-run states Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka.

Defending his statement at a news conference in Kolkata, Ghosh reiterated, “What I have said was said after thinking it through… I have said that if we come to power in Bengal, we will take action in the interest of the country.”

He said, “I stick to my comments. I am not bothered about the criticism… The TMC and Congress are criticising me, they too have opened fire on protesters on various occasions… I had said people should be shot if they destroy public properties. If we come to power, then we will shoot these protesters.”

The BJP unit president went on to say that during the Naxal period in West Bengal, the Siddharth Shankar Ray government killed many young men and shot them in the back. Chief Mamata Banerjee also went to the hills in Darjeeling and threatened to wipe-out agitating Gorkhas, he alleged. “Her police killed 11 people there. Even the Communists killed six Forward Bloc workers… Those who cheered them on those days are now talking about ahimsa? Have they become old and has their blood cooled?” he asked.

Ghosh repeated his controversial remark a day ahead of BJP’s internal election on Thursday, for which he filed his nomination and will potentially be re-elected as the BJP president. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju flew down to Kolkata for the same on Wednesday afternoon, while other senior leaders are also expected to be present at the National Library Auditorium.

At a public gathering at Ranaghat in West Bengal’s Nadia district on Sunday the BJP unit president went ballistic with his statement where he alleged that BJP will continue to “bash” protestors “with lathis, shoot you, and put you in jail”.

He claimed that while the West Bengal Police failed to take action against the people who destroyed public properties, “Our (BJP) government in UP, Assam and Karnataka has shot these people like dogs.”

Subsequently, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) lodged two police complaints – first in Ranaghat police station from Nadia district by TMC worker Krishnendu Banerjee, and the second filed at Habra police station of 24 Parganas North district – as the locals were living in fear that Ghosh might shoot them down.

Over two dozens people were killed in Uttar Pradesh, while at least five died in Assam due to the violence that erupted across the nation ever since the Centre passed the contentious amendment to Citizenship Act on December 15.