TMC leaders faced protests by BJP supporters who chanted Jai Shri Ram in Kankinara area of North 24 Parganas on Saturday, a day after there were allegations that 10 people were picked up by police for chanting the slogan. However, the police had denied the allegations.
State Minister Jyotipriya Mullick had to be escorted by police while leaving the area on Saturday. Some BJP supporters also clashed with police personnel.
As per TMC sources, party chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to hold a meeting on June 14 in Kanchrapara. In the run-up to that, TMC leaders had scheduled a meeting at the residence of local party leader, Alorani Sarkar. TMC district president (North 24 Parganas) Mullick, senior leader Tapas Roy and Fire Minister Sujit Bose were also present.
“Trinamool Congress leaders and workers have been asked to meet voters in North 24 Parganas and seek feedback following the poll debacle. Senior leaders were to hold a meeting to analyse the post-poll scenario in Barrackpore over losing Bongaon and Barrackpore Lok Sabha seats,” said a local TMC leader, who did not wish to be named.
Sources said some BJP supporters started protesting in Kanchrapara Gandhi More and police at the spot tried to dissuade them. A scuffle took place between BJP supporters and police. While BJP supporters alleged that they were lathicharged by the police, the police denied this. “Crowds were dispersed peacefully,” said a senior police officer.
However, BJP supporters kept chanting Jai Shri Ram upon spotting Jyoti Priya Mullick’s convoy.
“Let them protest. We had come to see the preparedness related to a meeting scheduled for June 14,” said Minister Mullick.
Fire Minister Sujit Bose said, “It is Mamata Banerjee’s government in Bengal and it will always remain that way. Police will take care of people who create law-and-order problems.”
The Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat that the Trinamool Congress Dinesh Trivedi lost to former party colleague Arjun Singh is proving a hotspot for the state government since the results were declared.
Several pockets of the district witnessed violence in the recent past. Mamata Banerjee was on her way to Naihati on Thursday to participate in a sit-in protest against violence on her party workers after the poll results. Her convoy was obstructed by BJP supporters chanting Jai Shri Ram. In a video that went viral on the social media, some men were seen shouting Jai Shri Ram as Banerjee’s convoy was passing through Bhatpara area, which witnessed violence between BJP and TMC workers since the poll results. A visibly upset Banerjee stepped out of her car and asked her security personnel to note down the name of the men.
“It is so disappointing and embarrassing to see a CM getting out of car and chasing young boys… asking police to arrest them for chanting Jai Shri Ram. I think those who are close to her should make her understand how bad it is for the image of the state,” said Debashree Chowdhury, Union Minister of state for women and Child Development.