After Violence, Mudslinging in WB: BJP, TMC, CPI(M), Cong Weigh In

PM Modi, in a conversation with CNN-News18, slammed the West Bengal CM and her party for the violence on Tuesday. 

Updated
Elections
3 min read
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP Chief Amit Shah.
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Political leaders across the spectrum reacted strongly to the clashes between workers of the TMC and the BJP in Kolkata on Tuesday, 14 May, when Amit Shah held a roadshow in the state capital.

BJP President Amit Shah on Wednesday accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of indulging in violence in the state and alleged that the Election Commission has been a "mute spectator". Addressing a press conference, Shah also accused TMC "goons" of vandalising Vidyasagar's bust inside a college, saying it was done to gain "sympathy" as the Mamata Banerjee-led party had realised its "reverse count" has begun.

Shah had also urged the people of Bengal to respond to the violence with votes.

Meanwhile, PM Modi, in a conversation with CNN-News18, slammed the West Bengal CM and her party for the violence on Tuesday and questioned why the people who talk of democracy and call themselves 'neutral' were silent on the matter.

Catch all the updates on the West Bengal violence here.

'BJP Goons Damaged Vidyasagar's Statue': TMC's Counter With Videos

One of the flashpoints during the heightened political acrimony witnessed on Tuesday in the run-up to the last and seventh phase of the Lok Sabha polls was the vandalism of a statue of Bengali writer and reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

TMC leader Derek O'Brien on Wednesday released a video to claim that "BJP goons" damaged the statue of Vidyasagar.

“We will take videos we have to EC, we are authenticating them on record... Video not only clearly establishes what the BJP did, but proves party chief Amit Shah is a liar. (We are) Trying to obtain, authenticate audio of slogans like ‘Vidyasagar finished, where is the Josh’ raised during the violence.”
Derek O’Brien, as quoted by PTI

The TMC leader also alleged that the central forces in Bengal have started a "whisper campaign" asking people to vote for BJP.

"Streets of Kolkata (are) tinged with shock, anger. What happened yesterday hurt Bengali pride," he added.

Earlier, state CM Mamata Banerjee had visited the spot where clashes took place and denied the involvement of TMC cadres.

TMC spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Ray on Monday called the entire incident a “rowdy show”.

‘Act of Desperation’, Says Yechury

Condemning the chain of events, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, said "attacking knowledge" was central to the BJP's "poisonous project".

“By this ugly show in the capital of Bengal, do BJP and TMC think they will win support? It is an act of desperation where they have both revealed their destructive and unacceptable agenda for Bengal. Eta cholbe na, chala uchit na,” he tweeted.

'BJP An Utter Failure'

Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha also took to Twitter to slam the BJP for a "polarising roadshow" and called the party "an utter failure" in West Bengal.

‘All Eyes Now on EC’: Arun Jaitley

In the meantime, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attacked the TMC, raising concerns about whether ‘free and fair’ elections are possible in the state.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also blamed the TMC for the clashes. “Once again, TMC resorted to cowardice & violence,” he tweeted.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also condemned the scuffle.

In a statement, Fadnavis said, "She has been denying permission to BJP leaders to hold rallies in the state as if Bengal was her personal property. Many BJP workers have been murdered in the state and elections have been held under the terror of TMC workers."

"Maximum violence during elections has taken place in Bengal. The Election Commission should take note of these developments and ensure polls are held in free and fair manner," he said.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar deplored the violence and blamed TMC’s student activists for creating the trouble. He said the Election Commission should look into the matter to ensure smooth conduct of polls in West Bengal on 19 May.

"I strongly condemn the incident. BJP will not tolerate this type of goonda raj, the Election Commission should take cognisance," Khattar told a hurriedly called press conference at his residence.

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