Updated: April 2, 2021 8:12:50 pm
West Bengal BJP leader Dipak Halder, who is contesting the Diamond Harbour constituency in the South 24-Parganas, was allegedly thrashed along with his supporters while campaigning on Friday morning.
A former Trinamool Congress MLA, Halder was one of the many defectors from the ruling party to the saffron camp ahead of the ongoing Assembly polls.
While Halder was admitted to a hospital, two persons were arrested in connection with the incident. According to sources, the BJP leader was campaigning in the Haridebpur area of South 24-Parganas when his supporters got into a war of words with a few people.
“Dipak Halder and his supporters were allegedly attacked with sticks following a heated argument with some locals. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident and further investigation is on,” said a senior police officer in the district.
The injured BJP supporters were also admitted to a hospital.
As word of the attack got out, BJP supporters blocked National Highway 117 in protest. The sit-in was lifted after police arrived at the scene.
Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and one of Trinamool’s heavyweight campaigners this election, is the current Lok Sabha member from Diamond Harbour.
While the BJP claimed a Trinamool hand in the attack, party leader and Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh said it was orchestrated at Abhishek’s behest. “This is what they did to Dipak Halder, the @BJP4Bengal candidate from Diamond Harbour Assembly seat. While campaigning, he was attacked by @AITCofficial goons patronised by @abhishekaitc. We condemn this attack. @ECISVEEP @CEOWestBengal @KailashOnline,” he tweeted.
The Trinamool denied the claim, saying the incident was a fallout of the BJP’s internal squabbles. “Haldar is a former Trinamool MLA who switched to the BJP ahead of the election. The BJP old-timers weren’t happy with his candidature and he was at the receiving end of their anger today. Our party cadre had nothing to do with the incident,” Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.
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