A day after clashes marred his roadshow in Kolkata, BJP chief Amit Shah Wednesday accused the Trinamool Congress of inciting violence in West Bengal. Addressing the media in New Delhi, Shah also accused the TMC of vandalising the statue of 19th century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Adding that “democracy has been muzzled” in Bengal, Shah questioned as to why the Election Commission was a “mute spectator” in Bengal. “Six phases of the Lok Sabha elections are over and we have not seen violence anywhere other than Bengal. This shows that it is TMC that is behind these clashes and not the BJP,” Shah said.
Launching an attack on West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, Shah said, “I want to tell Mamata ji that she is fighting only for 42 seats while the BJP is fighting elections in the entire country. But there has been no violence anywhere in the country except Bengal.” He also appealed the Election Commission to ensure a free and fair polling process in the seventh phase of elections on May 19.
Handing out pictures from yesterday’s clashes as evidence, Shah accused the TMC of destroying the bust of Pandit Vidyasagar. “The idol of Vidyasagar is kept inside the college room. The room was locked, so who had the key? It is the TMC that has captured the college. Destroying the statue of the great educationist for vote bank politics and sympathy shows that countdown of TMC has begun.”
The BJP chief also said that he was “saved” by the CRPF officials in Kolkata. “I would not have escaped unhurt without CRPF protection.” “My posters were removed before my roadshow. The roadshow went on peacefully for two and a half hours. The roadshow was attacked three times and in the third attack, fire, kerosene bottles etc were used. It is the Trinamool Congress that is trying to manipulate the polls.”
The clashes between BJP and TMC student wing activists outside University of Calcutta’s College Street campus and Vidyasagar College on Bidhan Sarani left several injured. While the TMC student wing accused the BJP workers of hurling stones and bottles at them, the BJP said their workers were attacked and forced to retaliate. During the clash at the College Street campus, a bust of Pandit Vidyasagar was destroyed and BJP workers were seen hurling water bottles, one of which hit The Indian Express reporter on the head.