NEWS
15/05/2019 8:50 AM IST | Updated 15/05/2019 9:12 AM IST

Violence At Amit Shah's Kolkata Roadshow, TMC And BJP Exchange Blame

BJP and TMC fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during a massive road show by Amit Shah.

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The TMC sought a meeting with the Election Commission over the destruction of a statue of Bengali writer and philosopher Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar during clashes between workers of the ruling party and the BJP on Tuesday.

What happened at Amit Shah’s road show?

Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during a massive road show by the former’s president Amit Shah, who escaped unhurt but was forced to cut short the jamboree and had to be escorted to safety by the police.

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.

Several motorcycles parked outside were vandalised and set ablaze. Shards of broken glass littered the lobby of the college where a bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, a noted philosopher and a key figure of Bengal Renaissance, was smashed to pieces. Police personnel were seen trying to douse the fire with buckets filled with water.

Contingents of the Kolkata Police deployed for the roadshow swung into action and were seen chasing away the warring groups.

“Trinamool parliamentary team comprising Derek O’Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Manish Gupta, Nadimul Haque seeks meeting with EC in aftermath of attack on Bengal’s heritage after Shah roadshow in Kolkata. BJP outsider ruffians resort to arson & break Vidyasagar’s bust,” the TMC said in a tweet.

Earlier, Brien, also TMC spokesperson, took to Twitter and alleged that “violent mob of outsiders” were behind the attack.

Bar Mamata Banerjee from campaigning: BJP to EC

A BJP 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 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.

Is Shah god that none can protest against him, asks Mamata

Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on 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.

Attacking knowledge central to BJP’s poisonous project: CPI(M)

Condemning the desecration of polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue, the CPI(M) alleged “attacking knowledge” was central to the BJP’s “poisonous project”.

“BJP-RSS think nothing of when they vandalise the historic Vidyasagar College, break Vidyasagar statue. This is their advocacy of India’s civilisational heritage? Attacking knowledge is central to getting their poisonous project going. 

“Bengal will reject the destruction they offer,” tweeted CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury

(With PTI inputs)