NEW DELHI: The war of words between the ruling TMC and its main challenger the BJP in West Bengal continues over the injury which Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee sustained in Nandigram when she went to Haldia to file nomination for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
While both the parties have approached the Election Commission to demand a detailed investigation into the reasons of TMC supremo’s injury, her partymen have now attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah for not enquiring about her well-being.
The TMC on Thursday claimed that PM Modi and Amit Shah “lacked the courtesy” to enquire about the health condition of Mamata Banerjee. Party’s secretary general Partha Chatterjee told mediapersons in Kolkata that it would have taken a few minutes for the two BJP heavyweights to call up and find out about the TMC supremo’s wellbeing, but none of them made an effort.
Stressing that the Election Commission should “take note” of the security lapse and “attack on Banerjee”, veteran TMC MP Sougata Roy said some BJP leaders had shared provocative posts and memes on social media about the CM, prior to her Nandigram visit.
Referring to Modi’s assertion – “Didi’s scooty is destined to fall in Nandigram” during his recent Brigade rally here, Roy said, “Such comments show how crude, crass and tasteless BJP leaders are.”
“The comment takes a whole different meaning now. The PM shouldn’t have said such things,” the Lok Sabha MP said.
Alluding to Banerjee’s e-scooter ride from her residence to Nabanna and back as a mark of protest against the fuel hike, the PM had said that her two-wheeler will topple in Nandigram, where she has crossed swords with her former aide and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Chatterjee further said the party has asked activists and supporters across the state to exercise restraint and not organise protests against the attack carried out on Banerjee as that would inconvenience people.
Hundreds of TMC supporters took out rallies, blocked roads and raised anti-BJP slogans in various parts of the state on Thursday against the alleged attack on the CM.
A scuffle had broken out during the day between the members of the two parties at Birulia Bazaar in Nandigram, where the TMC boss had fallen and suffered injuries on her left leg and waist.
Following the incident in Nandigram, a delegation of the TMC met with Election Commission officials in Kolkata on Thursday and later alleged that the “Election Commission did nothing despite there being reports of a possible attack on Banerjee”.
Claiming that the attack was a “deep-rooted conspiracy to take the life of the TMC supremo”, party leaders said anti-social elements have been mobilised from the neighbouring states by the BJP in Nandigram to unleash violence.
The EC can’t shun responsibility as it is in charge of the law-and-order situation in poll-bound West Bengal, they said.
The EC took exception to the TMC’s accusations and said it was full of insinuations.
On the other hand, the BJP rubbished the charges of the TMC. It wrote a letter to the Election Commission demanding a detailed inquiry into the incident.
In the letter written to the West Bengal chief electoral officer on Thursday, the BJP leaders expressed shock at the incident. Calling the injury sustained by Mamata as “unfortunate”, the letter says, “We are shocked to see on TV that the honourable chief minister Mamata Banerjee has been injured while in Nandigram assembly constituency wherein she has alleged that she was pushed by some people.
The letter stated that it was a very serious allegation involving the security of the CM. They said the BJP leaders expressed concern and said how such an incident could have occurred especially when the security director and additional director, security were both present at the spot. “Police personnel in Nandigram today were in thousands which makes the breach even more alarming,” it said.
The BJP leaders requested the EC to order a detailed enquiry into the incident. They also demanded the video footage to be made available in the public domain to clear the air.