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Uttam's Take: What Amit Shah's road show achieved

Last updated on: May 16, 2019 12:08 IST

It was meant to be a show of strength in the Bengal capital Kolkata by the BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday night.

But what it ended up as was something the state has not witnessed in a long, long time.

That the BJP has set its eyes on the eastern state to boost its numbers in Parliament, is no secret.

That the ruling Trinamool Congress was not willing to cede an inch to its saffron rival is also no secret.

Given this, the elections in the state have witnessed high levels of acrimony indulged in by both sides.

 

Given this background, no one expected Amit Shah's road show to pass off peacefully. Still, very few would have expected the level of violence seen on the streets of Bengal on Tuesday night, with vehicles torched, brick-batting, and  pitched battles between TMC and BJP supporters.

The nadir was the vandalisation of reformist Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's bust, a vile deed that has shocked all of Bengal.

Both the TMC and BJP have accused each other of the dastardly deed to defame the other side, and the police have launched an investigation.

Unnerved by the level of violence, the Election Commission, in an unprecedented move, cancelled campaigning in the state 24 hours of schedule, which again saw the state government and Centre trade fresh charges against each other.

Even as the name-calling continues, Uttam Ghosh offers his take on the road show and its aftermath.

UTTAM GHOSH / Rediff.com
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