Rediff.com  » News » After violent clashes, Mamata and BJP in war of words

After violent clashes, Mamata and BJP in war of words

May 14, 2019 22:55 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party president's Amit Shah's road show in Kolkata culminated with violence, arson and a police lathicharge.

Parts of the city plunged into a welter of violence as his convoy was attacked with stones by alleged TMC supporters from inside the hostel of Vidyasagar College, triggering a clash between supporters of the two parties, officials said.

Furious BJP supporters retaliated and were seen exchanging blows with their TMC rivals outside the college entrance.

 

Following the clashes, the BJP urged the Election Commission to bar West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from campaigning in the state and alleged that "constitutional machinery" has collapsed there.

After violence and arson marred BJP president Amit Shah's road show in Kolkata, a party delegation, including Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, rushed to the EC, seeking its immediate intervention to ensure free and fair polls in the state.

Naqvi accused Banerjee of "complicity" in violence allegedly aimed at the BJP, claiming that she has been "provoking" her Trinamool Congress workers to attack the saffron party's functionaries.

"She holds a constitutional post but has been using unconstitutional comments, asking her party workers to take revenge and indulge in violence. She is complicit. She should be immediately barred from campaigning," he told reporters after the BJP delegation met the EC.

The "goons" of the TMC have hijacked the state administration and the violence in Shah's road show is an example of this, he claimed.

The credibility of the commission is at stake, he said, likening the situation in the state to Bihar in 2005 when the EC had sent a special representative to take control of the administration there to ensure free and fair polls.

The BJP also demanded that "miscreants" and "history-sheeters" present in the constituencies, which go to polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 19, should be arrested and removed from these places.

Central forces should also carry out flag march in the poll-bound seats, the party told the EC.

In reaction to the violence, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on BJP president Amit Shah asking if he were a god that no one can
protest against him.

"What does Amit Shah think of himself? Is he above everything? Is he God that no one can protest against him?" Banerjee told reporters after visiting the Vidyasagar College in north Kolkata.

"They are so uncultured that they have broken the bust of Vidyasagar. They are all outsiders. They BJP had brought them to be used on the day of polls," she said.

Banerjee also visited the university campus. "Does he (Shah) know the heritage of the Calcutta University? Is he aware of the famous personalities who had studied here? He should be ashamed of this attack," she said adding that there will be a protest rally on Wednesday.

The TMC leader also criticised the Election Commission for allegedly not taking enough action against the BJP for spending huge amount of unaccounted money in the polls.

"While coming through Bidhan Sarani (a north Kolkata road), I saw such huge cutouts (of Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi). They are spending so much money. Why is the EC not taking action against them?" Banerjee said.

Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajesh Kumar, who too was present with the chief minister at the Vidyasagar College, said more than 100 people have been taken into custody.

No one involved in the incident would be spared, he said.

© Copyright 2019 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
SHARE THIS STORY