Whodunnit Over Vidyasagar Statue Vandalism: BJP, TMC Share ‘Proof’
The destruction of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s bust in a Kolkata college, during BJP President Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday, 14 May, has triggered a whodunit, with both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP blaming each other with ‘proof’ of those behind the attack.
TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday, 15 May, released a video showing men in saffron T-shirts, breaking the bust of the social reformer, before smashing it on the ground during the violence in the city.
"There is video footage showing BJP workers bringing out the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on Tuesday and breaking it into pieces. This is the culture of BJP. They should not talk big," Chatterjee said, hitting out at BJP President Amit Shah, reported PTI.
BJP President Amit Shah and party leaders should stop lying about the incident, Chatterjee said, who is also the state education minister.
BJP has lost its mental balance in its quest to capture power at the Centre "at any cost", he said.
‘Roadshow Held to Create Violence’
"The intention of the road show (by Shah) was to create violence ahead of polls. When the incident (violence) occured, BJP leaders were there. The top BJP leadership instigated their cadres to ransack the college," Chatterjee said.
The video showed the men in saffron t shirts, who smashed the bust on the ground were also carrying BJP flags.
The BJP and the TMC fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during the roadshow on Tuesday, plunging parts of the city into a welter of violence. Shah's convoy was attacked with stones by alleged TMC supporters from inside the hostel of Vidyasagar College, triggering a clash between supporters of the two parties.
Furious BJP supporters retaliated and were seen exchanging blows with their TMC rivals outside the college entrance. Several cycles and motorbikes parked outside the gates of the institution were also set ablaze.
‘TMC Responsible for Violence in Bengal’
Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday blamed TMC for causing ‘ruckus’ the during his roadshow in Kolkata and accused the Election Commission for remaining a “mute spectator” to rigging and violation of the poll code in the state, according to PTI.
At a press conference, he said it would have been difficult for him to survive the attack on his convoy, if not for the security provided by the CRPF.
Shah said Banerjee has issued threats in her speeches but has not been barred from campaigning, alleging that democracy is being throttled in the state.
“There is violence in Bengal because the TMC is in power there," he said.
Shah also accused TMC "goons" of vandalising the bust, saying it was done to gain "sympathy" as the Banerjee-led party has realised its "reverse count" has begun. He also showed pictures of Tuesday's violence to blame the TMC.
BJP leaders and workers were on the road outside the campus and its gates remained closed even during the violence, he said, adding that his party's supporters could not have gone inside to desecrate the statue situation far inside a room.
(With inputs from PTI)