A war of words broke out between the ruling TMC government and BJP after the convoy of BJP chief J P Nadda was allegedly attacked with stones and bricks while on its way to Diamond Harbour in Kolkata. West Bengal Chief Minister suggested that the attack was “staged” even as several Union ministers, including Home Minister Amit Shah, and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, hit out at the ruling party.
“Every day they (BJP activists) are coming out (for rallies) with firearms. They are slapping themselves and blaming it on the Trinamool Congress. Just think of the situation. They are roaming around with the BSF, CRPF, Army, CISF….then why are you so scared,” Banerjee said in Kolkata as quoted by PTI.
The Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the West Bengal government on the alleged “serious security lapses” during the BJP president’s visit, the circumstances and what action has been taken on it.
WATCH | Stones hurled at vehicle of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya in West Bengal pic.twitter.com/TORSzQwjUz
Several cars in Nadda’s convoy, including that of BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, were damaged in the attack. About ten BJP leaders, including Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy, received minor injuries. Nadda called the attack “unprecedented” and alleged the state had slipped into “complete lawlessness and goonda raj”.
Nadda said he was not hurt as he was travelling in a bulletproof car, but others in the convoy were assaulted. “If I have reached here for the meeting it is due to Maa Durga’s grace…I can imagine how difficult it is for common party workers in Bengal,” he said.
Home Minister Amit Shah said Bengal had descended into an era of tyranny, anarchy and darkness under the Trinamool rule. “Today, the National President of BJP in Bengal @JPNadda was attacked. The attack is condemnable. The central government is taking this attack very seriously. The Bengal government will have to answer to the peace loving people of the state for this sponsored violence,” Shah tweeted.
“The manner in which political violence has been institutionalized and brought to the extreme in West Bengal under TMC rule is sad and worrying,” Shah further said.
तृणमूल शासन में बंगाल अत्याचार, अराजकता और अंधकार के युग में जा चुका है।
टीएमसी के राज में पश्चिम बंगाल के अंदर जिस तरह से राजनीतिक हिंसा को संस्थागत कर चरम सीमा पर पहुँचाया गया है, वो लोकतांत्रिक मूल्यों में विश्वास रखने वाले सभी लोगों के लिए दु:खद भी है और चिंताजनक भी।
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) December 10, 2020
Bengal Governor Dhankhar accused the state administration of failing to act despite him alerting the chief secretary and the director general of police. “Concerned at alarming reports of anarchy and lawlessness @MamataOfficial indicating ruling party harmads on rampage at BJP President Convoy and political police @WBPolice in support,” the governor wrote.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, whose vehicle was also attacked, alleged “Bengal has turned into Syria” under the TMC.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the “cowardly act” was an attempt to murder democracy. Targeting Mamata Banerjee over the incident, he said it would prove to be the “final nail in the coffin of the ruling Trinamool Congress” in Bengal, where assembly polls are due in the first half of 2021.
“The people of West Bengal will give a befitting reply to it by voting for the BJP. This attack will prove to be the last nail in the TMC’s coffin in West Bengal,” Chouhan said in tweets in Hindi.
Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal also deplored the attack in a press conference on farm laws and called it an attack on democracy in West Bengal. “Attack on our national president J P Nadda and senior party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya is a deplorable act. There is a complete breakdown of law and order in West Bengal,” Tomar said.