Prime Minister Narendra Modi upped the ante against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday and said that Trinamool Congress (TMC) goons indulged in hooliganism during Bhai Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday and vandalised Bengali reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's statue at Vidyasagar College. The TMC had blamed the BJP for damaging the statue. The prime minister, who was speaking at Mau in Uttar Pradesh, promised a grand Panchdhatu statue of Vidyasagar at the same spot.
PM Modi also said that the goons of Trinamool Congress had indulged in hooliganism some months ago during his rally in West Medinipur. In another rally in Thakurnagar, the situation was such that he had to cut short his speech and was forced to leave the stage. He also attacked Bhaujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati for not attcking Mamata for targeting UP-Bihar Purvanchal people and calling them outsiders for her politics.
Bengali philosopher and reformist Vidyasagar’s statue at the Vidyasagar Collage was vandalised in the clashes between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Clashes erupted in Kolkata with supporters of both the BJP and the TMC clashing ahead of BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in the run up to the polling on May 19, the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The clashes took place near College Square and Calcutta University's Vidyasagar College. At least two vehicles were set ablaze. The Kolkata Police resorted to lathi-charge to dispel the crowd of protestors and as many as 100 people were taken into custody.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Shah released ‘photographic evidence’ and blamed the ruling party in Bengal for vandalising Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue. The BJP chief claimed that Trinamool workers had vandalised the statue to invoke sympathy from voters. He even said that it would have been difficult for him to escape the violence if the CRPF contingent was not present at the spot.
"What does Amit Shah think of himself? Is he above everything? Is he God that no one can protest against him?" Mamata Banerjee told reporters after visiting the Vidyasagar College in north Kolkata on Tuesday night. "They are so uncultured that they have broken the bust of Vidyasagar. They are all outsiders. They BJP had brought them to be used on the day of polls," she said.
There was also a scuffle when a group of people shouted slogans against Shah outside the Calcutta University campus and showed him black flags during the roadshow. Banerjee also visited the university campus.
"Does he (Shah) know the heritage of the Calcutta University? Is he aware of the famous personalities who had studied here? He should be ashamed of this attack," she said adding that there will be a protest rally on Wednesday.
"The attack was carried out by TMC workers, they carried out arson," Amit Shah said as reported by Zee News. "Mamata is frustrated as she is fearing defeat. This is a step taken because of their frustration."
The BJP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission and demanded strong action against TMC and its chief Mamata Banerjee. The Trinamool has also sought a meeting with the EC and will hold a protest rally on Wednesday.