Sunday, 20 May, 2018


BJP, TMC workers clash twice, Prez rule demanded in Bengal

Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari
Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2018, 08:59

Kolkata: Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has made a decision to not attend the annual Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) to be held in Kolkata next week after Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters clashed in the city several times on Friday over a proposed BJP motorbike rally.

Police sources said that a huge police contingent was rushed to the spot and the situation was brought under control.

Senior officials in West Bengal said that Gadkari had earlier confirmed his participation but soon after Friday's clash, the state government received communication from the Union Minister's office that he won't be coming for the summit due to the "deteriorating law and order situation in the state". "More than 10 workers of our party suffered severe injuries".

The clash ensued when sloganeering TMC workers allegedly pelted stones at the BJP headquarters around 10.30 am.

The street fights also attracted Calcutta High Court's notice after its special officer, Rabi Shankar Datta, submitted that his auto was vandalised and he sustained minor injuries near Mohammad Ali Park at 11.15 am.

The claim about Gadkari reflects a BJP attempt to play victim and embarrass the state's ruling establishment by alleging a collapse of law and order. "They are doing it to make their presence felt", he said.

Trinamul attacked the BJP's approach to politics in Bengal and accused it of disrespecting Vivekananda.

"I told the national leadership that the state unit would do the needful, but the actions of the national leadership should be in tune with our stand", Ghosh said.

While the BJYM alleged that they were attacked by TMC "goons" when they were trying to take out the rally, local TMC MLA Smita Bakshi denied the allegations and said those "who were trying to gain a foothold in Bengal are behind the violence".

The party claimed that Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) state president Debjit Sarkar was injured in the clash and was hospitalised. It was staged by the BJP to get media attention, he said.

The party said its was tough to carry on with the programme in the present circumstances. "The state government always meant to disrupt the rally, which was granted permission by the court". On Saturday, it will protest outside every police station in the state. "We want the rally to be organised under the protection of central forces", Ghosh said.

Ghosh also alleged that HC observer Ravi Shankar Dutta, who was tracking the bike rally, was also attacked.

A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice A Banerjee directed that further movement of the rally be postponed till January 15 and would end at Coochbehar on January 20, two days after the original schedule. Firstly, they attacked our workers at Binani Bhawan.

On Friday, the BJP demonstrated before the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road against "Trinamul's state-sponsored terrorism" and handed a memorandum to governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. The party has also chose to organise a demonstration outside all police stations in the state tomorrow.

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