Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, a day after clashes broke out between Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party workers during BJP president Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata, saying the West Bengal Chief Minister has destroyed the state's culture of"Bhadra Lok".
"Didi's goons carrying guns and bombs are bent upondestruction... Power-drunk Mamata Banerjee is throttling democracy," said Modi at a rally in West Bengal's Basirhat. Modi also alleged that Mamata "Didi" had declared publicly two days ago that she will take revenge. "She fulfilled her agenda within 24 hours, Amit Shah's roadshow was attacked," the PM said.
BJP and Trinamool Congress supporters clashed on the streets of Kolkata on Tuesday, during a massive roadshow of Shah who had to cut short the event mid-way due to the violence. The violence apparently began after suspected TMC supporters hurled stones at the BJP convoy from inside the hostel of Vidyasagar College. Furious BJP workers retaliated and during the clash, a bust of the polymath and philosopher inside the campus was damaged. The election in West Bengal has been marred by incidents of violence and targeted attacks on rival party candidates.
Modi said West Bengal will help the BJP cross the 300 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. "All the surveys are giving the BJP a full majority on its own, but Didi after seeing your frustration and the support from the people of Bengal, I am saying that Bengal will help us win more than 300 seats. People of Bengal have made up their mind to end this despotic rule of Mamata Banerjee one day," PM Modi said at the rally.
The prime minister also slammed the TMC government for arresting BJP youth wing worker from West Bengal, Priyanka Sharma on May 10 for sharing a morphed photograph in which Banerjee’s face was superimposed on an image of actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas during her appearance at the Met Gala event.
"Didi, aap khud artist ho, aapse agrah karunga, aap mera bhadde se bhadda chitra banaiye aur May 23 ke baad, meri PM shapth ke baad, meri jo tasveer aapne banayi hai woh mujhe bhent karen, mein aap par FIR nahi karunga (Didi, you are yourself an artist. I request you to make the worst painting of mine and you can present it as a gift at my swearing-in ceremony as PM. I assure you, I wouldn't lodge an FIR against you," Modi said.
Amid the ongoing allegations and counter-claims, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien released a video to claim that “BJP goons” damaged the statue of polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Trinamool Parliamentary team comprising Derek O'Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Manish Gupta, Nadimul Haque also met the Election Commission over the issue and submitted "proof" in support of their claim.
“Video not only clearly establishes what the BJP did, but proves party chief Amit Shah is a liar. We will take videos we have to Election Commission; we are authenticating them on record,” he said at a press conference.
The party also showed a video and WhatsApp message asking people to come to Amit Shah's roadshow with rods and arms to fight the TMC and police. "We are trying to obtain and authenticate audio of slogans like 'Vidyasagar finished, where is the Josh' raised during the violence," O'Brien said.
O' Brien further further claimed the presence of BJP's "outsider goons" who carried out violence in the city. He blamed BJP's Delhi unit leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga for the violence and unrest.
"Anybody can come and do a procession, but what were the outsiders.....Who is this fellow Tejinder Bagga? Who is he? He was arrested, is he not the same guy who slapped somebody in Delhi? You have taken in your outsider goons," he said.
Hitting back at O' Brien, Bagga challenged O' Brien to prove his presence "within 500 metres" of the spot of incident. "Nobody takes Derek O Brien seriously. I challenge him if he can prove that I was within 500 metres of the spot where violence broke out. I will leave politics if I am proved wrong or else he should leave politics if he fails to prove the charge," he said.