Clashes spoil BJP and TMC outreach programs in Bengal, which is at the polls
The clashes have marked outreach programs launched by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier this week in West Bengal, a country bound for the polls.
Violence has been in the headlines since the BJP emerged as the ruling party’s main adversary during the 2018 panchayat elections. The clashes peaked in the Lok Sabha elections last year. Assembly elections should take place in about five months. The BJP has alleged that 120 of its workers have murdered in the state from the panchayat polls.
On Saturday, the Barabani area of West Burdwan district was rocked by clashes between supporters of the two parties. Lakshman Ghorui, chairman of the BJP district unit, alleged that five of his workers suffered bomb and gunshot wounds when they were attacked by TMC-backed criminals.
“Our workers gathered around noon for a procession planned as part of the ar noi anyay (no more injustice) program. They were attacked without provocation. A worker was hit by a bullet, ”Ghorui said.
Responding, Jitendra Tiwari, the TMC district president, said: “It is a false accusation. The confrontation occurred between two rival BJP groups. Our party is not involved at all. ”
Local TMC legislator Bidhan Upadhyay, on the other hand, alleged that ruling party workers were targeted by the BJP in Jamgram when visiting homes as part of the “duware sarkar (government at the door)” program launched by Chief Minister Mamata. Banerjee earlier this week. A large police contingent led by Manav Singla, Deputy Commissioner of Asansol-Durgapur Police, rushed to the scene to control the situation.
The BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya went to a private hospital in Durgapur on Saturday night to see the injured party worker.
“The situation is now under control,” a senior district police officer said Sunday on condition of anonymity. “The BJP approached the police to request permission for its program but it was not given to avoid tensions since both parties wanted to go out in the same area,” he added.
In a similar incident, several BJP workers were allegedly beaten in Sitai, in the Cooch Behar district of North Bengal, on Saturday. Nisith Pramanik, a member of BJP Lok Sabha from Cooch Behar, alleged that TMC workers dropped bombs when BJP workers participated in the ar noi anyay program.
Noor Alam Hussain, the karmadhakshya of the TMC-controlled zilla parishad, denied the accusation and said the clash took place between rival BJP groups.
Kolkata also witnessed some tension between two TMC factions in northern Kolkata during a “duware sarkar” camp. However, there was no violence.