The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections were marked by widespread violence across West Bengal. However, even as polls are over, the violence is yet to cease. On Tuesday it was reported that a crude bomb was hurled at the ‘Vijay Rally’ of BJP supporters in Birbhum.
ANI reported that Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters are allegedly behind the act and that there were no injuries.
Meanwhile, TMC alleged that their party office in Durgapur was vandalised by BJP workers.
Several incidents of violence
This comes close on the heels of a BJP worker being shot dead on Sunday night. The 30-year-old resident of Kakinara, Chandan Shaw, was shot dead In Bhatpara in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district.
NDTV reported on Monday that two people had been arrested in the matter and they reportedly found no political or communal connection with the murder.
Clashes have since been reported from Bhatpara and Kakinara areas, that come under the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat where the BJP’s Arjun Singh defeated TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi.
The Hindu had reported that a number of shops were set on fire in Kakinara. In Naihati, also in Barrackpore, several motorcycles were set ablaze and a TMC party office was attacked.
Officials told PTI that two people had been killed in the clashes that broke out between the BJP and the TMC since the Lok Sabha results were declared.
A 23-year-old BJP worker was shot dead in Nadia district’s Chakdaha town on Friday and the BJP alleged that “TMC goons” were behind the incident.
The Hindustan Times said on Saturday that violence was being reported from Birbhum, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, West Midnapore, and South 24 Parganas districts, in which over 35 people had also been injured.
The report said that in Dinhata the North Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh was allegedly heckled. Meanwhile BJP workers pelted stones at the car of forest minister Binay Krishna Barman in Ghokshadanga in Cooch Behar.
The Hindu reported that “go back” slogans were raised against Barman who had to rescued by the police.
The police told the newspaper that TMC workers were injured after being attacked with machetes.
Only blame, no action
While party workers of both the TMC and the BJP continue to suffer the consequence of this violence, the leaders at the top rung, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have been engaged in blame game.
On Monday while addressing the BJP workers in Varanasi, Modi said party workers were being killed for their ideology. Dismissing the allegations, a senior TMC leader, who did not want to be named, told PTI that it was his party workers who were being brutally murdered in political violence in the state.
The leader claimed that not a single BJP worker has been killed in Bengal in political violence. “The allegations (by Modi) are baseless. The fact is not a single BJP worker has been killed in Bengal due to political violence. During panchayat polls, more than 30 Trinamool workers were murdered by the BJP. They also killed a Trinamool MLA,” the leader said.
Other BJP leaders have also claimed that the violence being reported was the TMC’s doing. BJP leader Roopa Ganguly said on Friday, “People are tired of Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. Had the elections been held in a fair manner BJP would have won more than 30 seats here that is what Banerjee was afraid of, hence the violence in all seven phases.”
During Amit Shah’s rally in Kolkata, the bust of renowned educationist and reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue was vandalised. While Mamata Banerjee formed a five-member committee to look into the desecration of the bust, Shah had claimed he “came out alive” only because of the CRPF.
(With PTI inputs)