THE STATE BJP on Friday demanded the imposition of President’s Rule in the state following clashes between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers in Kolkata, injuring 14 people.
In the morning, workers of BJP and its youth wing BJYM, who were preparing to take out a motorcycle rally from Binani Bhavan at Jorabagan, were allegedly attacked by Trinamool workers. In reply, BJP workers allegedly destroyed public property and beat up Trinamool workers. Later, while BJP workers were on way to take out a rally from the state party headquarters, Trinamool workers reportedly started pelting stones and beating up BJP supporters. The vehicle of the HC-appointed special officer Rabishankar Dutta was damaged.
In all, 14 BJP workers, including state BJYM president Debjit Sarkar, and five policemen sustained injuries.
In Shiuri, a motorbike rally organised by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) was stopped by police soon after it started as it did not have prior permission.
Speaking to mediapersons, Ghosh said: “Complete lawlessness is prevailing in the state. The Opposition is not allowed to exercise its rights and is continuously being attacked by ruling party workers. We demand the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
“Our workers were set to take out the rally… but Trinamool workers foiled our attempts by attacking our workers at several places. Firstly, they attacked our workers at Binani Bhavan. Later, they attacked our workers outside our state office. Despite the HC order, we are not being allowed to take out the bike rally. Thus, we have decided to call off the rally.”
BJP leader Mukul Roy, too, said: “There is no democracy in West Bengal and today’s incident just proved this.”
The high court later went on to reschedule the rally from January 15. The BJP had initially decided to take out a bike rally across the state from January 11 to 18 as part of its Pratirodh Sankalp Abhiyan.
Trinamool, meanwhile, accused BJP workers of indulging in vandalism on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, which fell on Friday. Trinamool secretary general and minister Partha Chatterjee said: “The BJP chose the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda to indulge in hooliganism. They wielded sticks and pelted Trinamool workers with stones on this occasion. This is unprecedented. Why would our workers create trouble on a day like this? Our workers take out so many rallies, which are always held peacefully and without any hassle. We condemn this culture of hooliganism….”
Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee said: “It is a matter of shame to witness such violence on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. They are disrespecting Vivekananda and we have no words to condemn this. We will give them a fitting reply politically. Today, it’s our duty to pay respect to Swami Vivekananda.”
Another minister, Shashi Panja, said: “BJP workers destroyed public property and beat up locals. They have used the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary to indulge in hooliganism. They wanted to hijack the celebrations and do politics over it. They also brought their workers from other parts of the city to create tension here. They tore up Vivekananda’s posters.”
When asked whether Vivekananda’s birth anniversary celebration has turned out to be a political slugfest between Trinamool and the BJP, Ghosh said: “Trinamool should not think that only it has the right to observe Swamiji’s birth anniversary”. “We have been observing Swamiji’s birthday for several decades. We don’t need to take lessons from them,” Ghosh told PTI.