Kolkata, Apr 20: Swamy Aseemanand, who along with four others, was acquitted by an NIA court on Monday in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, will campaign for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during panchayat elections in West Bengal. Swami Aseemanand, whose real name is Naba Kumar Sarkar, hails from Hooghly district of Bengal. The West Bengal unit of the BJP wants to Aseemanand to play a role in spreading party base in the state. BJP leaders believe that the party’s Hindutva ideology in the state will get a boost after Aseemanand joins them.

According to BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, he has held a meeting with Swamy Aseemanand who agreed to join the party in spreading its base in West Bengal. On Monday, the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Hyderabad acquitted the Swami and four other Hindu right-wing members in the Mecca Masjid blast case by saying that none of the charges framed against the accused were proved. A powerful explosion killed nine people at the Mecca Masjid near Charminar in Hyderabad during the Friday prayers on May 18, 2007.

“I know him for a long time. I have spoken to him earlier and told him that the situation in Bengal is bad and we need him to work here. He has agreed. Now that he is acquitted, he will work with us in the state. He will speak during the campaign period of panchayat polls. We are yet to work out the details,” Dilip Ghosh, as reported by Indian Express, said. Aseemanand is expected to visit West Bengal very soon and is likely to campaign for the BJP in different rural areas of the state. BJP has already sought his travel plans in Bengal.

“He has great organisational skills and has worked with the masses for years. After the panchayat polls, we want him to spread the party base in tribal areas of Bengal. Tribals are already with us and with his organisational skills, party will be further benefited. Few months back when he came in Hooghly, I had a talk with him regarding the situation in Bengal. He agreed to be with us,” Ghosh was quoted as saying. The BJP is leaving no stone unturned to emerge as the principal opposition to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the state.

The BJP will bring Aseemanand in tribal-dominated districts of West Bengal as well. Assemanand, who used to work for RSS backed ‘Vanabasi Kalyan Ashram’, has spent considerable time among the tribals. After acquittal in Mecca Masjid blast case, Aseemanand now faces trial only in the 2007 Samjhauta Express train blast case. On February 18, 2007, 68 people were killed in a blast on the Samjhauta Express train between New Delhi and Lahore in Pakistan. Most of the victims were Pakistanis.

The Calcutta High Court on April 12 had stayed till further orders the ongoing panchayat election process in the state. The Left Front, the Congress and the BJP have accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of letting loose a reign of terror in order to stop opposition parties from filing nominations for panchayat polls. The TMC has termed the allegations as baseless.