A Trinamool Congress delegation met the Election Commission (EC) on Friday and demanded a high-level probe into an alleged attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram and claimed it was not an 'unfortunate incident', but a conspiracy.
The six-member delegation of the TMC met the full EC team, including Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, for over an hour and submitted a memorandum to it, highlighting how Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in West Bengal had threatened the chief minister through tweets and other remarks.
"Injuries to Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram were not a result of an unfortunate incident but that of a conspiracy. The events leading up to the attempt on her life leave no doubt that the attack was part of a deep-rooted conspiracy," TMC MP Saugata Roy told reporters after meeting the EC.
In the memorandum, the TMC has made allegations against Suvendu Adhikari, the BJP candidate from Nandigram in the upcoming state assembly polls.
'When an attempt was made on the life of Ms Banerjee, in which she was grievously hurt, to cover up the attack, eye-witnesses were planted, illustratively, eye-witnesses Chittaranjan Das and Debabrata Das, who testified that Ms Banerjee's car was hit against an iron pillar, are associates of Suvendu Adhikari, BJP candidate from Nandigram,' the memorandum says.
The party said the BJP's state president Dilip Ghosh had uploaded a caricature depicting that she would be hit at Nandigram.
Around the same time, numerous complaints were filed by the saffron party with the EC seeking immediate removal of the then police chief and IGP of West Bengal, it said.
The TMC also gave similar instances of other leaders.
'There is a clear nexus between the post by Dilip Ghosh on Facebook, multiple complaints seeking removal of DGP, the unilateral decision of the ECI to remove the erstwhile (police chief), the plan revealed by Saumitra Khan on Twitter, BJP's request to suspend/remove security personnel of Ms Banerjee, the resultant attempt on the life of Ms Banerjee and the cover-up of the same by Adhikari,' the memorandum said.
The TMC delegation also handed over documents containing translated tweets of BJP leaders as well as photographs of Banerjee's car.
'The chairperson's car does not show even a scratch -- clearly demolishing the lie that the vehicle hit an iron pillar on the road.
'In this context, we would also like to mention the unfortunate comment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 'Brigade Cholo Rally' on March 7 in which he had said 'If the scooty has decided to topple in Nandigram, what can we do?' the memorandum stated.
After a delegation of TMC leaders met EC officials in Bengal, the poll body on Thursday sent a strongly-worded letter to the party on its memorandum over injuries to Banerjee during the campaign, saying it looks 'undignified to even respond' to allegations that the poll panel is doing things in the state at the behest of a 'particular party'.
EC should find out who were behind 'attack' on Mamata Banerjee: TMC
Meanwhile, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Friday said the EC should find out the perpetrators of the 'attack' on Banerjee, adding that the 'attack' was carried out by those who were 'scared of her popularity'.
"We have raised a question about the responsibility and impartiality of the ECI. The commission has changed the DGP and ADG of state police. They can do so.
"But what about plugging loopholes in the proper security arrangements of a public figure like Mamata Banerjee?" Chatterjee asked.
The TMC leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda lacked 'basic courtesy to enquire about the health condition of the only woman chief minister in the country'.
Chatterjee, also a senior minister, alleged that the BJP was trying to prevent TMC leaders from filing nomination papers by raising fault in the technical process but the Trinamool Congress has faith in the judiciary and electoral system.
Asked about Suvendu Adhikari, his former ministerial colleague, who filed nomination paper as the BJP candidate from Nandigram, Chatterjee said Adhikari's deposit will be forfeited.
"We wonder if Suvendu Adhikari has suddenly woken up to realise the alleged mistakes by the Trinamool Congress government after 10 years. Does he think everything was wrong from 2011 to 2020? What was he doing all these years, from 2011? Is he under any kind of pressure from the BJP?," Chatterjee asked.
Four state committee leaders from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated trade union joined the Trinamool Congress at Trinamool Bhavan in Chatterjee's presence during the day.
Altogether 30 grassroot members of the organisation, have switched over to the TMC from March 12, the TMC leader said.