An unprecedented instance of political defiance was witnessed late on Friday night when Trinamool Congress supporters led by Mamata Banerjee held a sit-in demonstration,barely 200 m from Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjees residence till the wee hours of Saturday morning. Trinamool supporters also blocked another route to the chief ministers Palm Avenue residence by squatting at Palm Avenue Broad Street crossing in protest against the arrest of 18 people for ransacking buses and rioting over the state governments drive to ban two-stroke autos in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area.
The demonstrations which began with Banerjee taking out rallies in south Kolkata ended after the Trinamool chief finally left the Bondel Gate area carrying her party flags.
While leaving the place at 4.30 in the morning,Banerjee blamed the government for forcing them to sit on roads throughout the night as she alleged that she and her supporters were not allowed to pass through the area near the chief ministers house.
Why did the police stop us,Section 144 has not been clamped here, she said,adding,We do not stop the CPM from bringing out rallies in front of my residence,why are the police stopping us from bringing out rallies in front of the CMs house?
The police should make arrangements for the CM in air where no one could pass by, she added.
Throughout the night,senior police officers,including half a dozen IPS officers of Kolkata police along with additional RAF personnel remained at the spot to stop escalation of the protests and oppose any Trinamools effort to inch closer to the chief ministers residence. Trinamool leaders like Sougata Ray and Kalyan Banerjee were seen arguing with the top brass of police for the release of those arrested.
Trinamool supporters who squatted at Bondel Road crossing sang songs of protests and revolution over cups of tea as the unprecedented political drama unfolded through the night. At times,Banerjee left the spot and made rounds of the streets surrounding the chief ministers residence and shouted slogans against the state government and the CPM.