West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee alleged on Thursday, 3 March, that she was attacked by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers when she was visiting Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi, The Indian Express reported.
Banerjee, who is in UP to campaign for the Samajwadi Party, said that such actions were indicative of the BJP's imminent defeat in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
Attacked on the Way to Ghat: Mamata
Describing how and where she was attacked, Banerjee said, "I was coming from the airport yesterday and going to the ghat. Midway, some BJP workers, who have nothing in their brain except violence, stopped my vehicle. They hit my car, pushed me and told me to go back."
A number of protests were staged against Banerjee's visit to Varanasi by the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a group founded by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Members of the youth organisation showed black flags to the Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) chief, and demanded for her to leave the city. They also raised slogans of "Jai Sri Ram".
Banerjee, however, said that she stepped out of her car to see what the protestors would do to her.
“I wanted to see what you can do. How much strength you have. But you are a coward... They attacked my car, pushed me. I said thank you because I knew the message is clear that the BJP is losing; why else attack me?” Banerjee told news agency PTI.
Raising the slogan of "Khela hoga" - the Hindi translation of the famous Bengali phrase used by the TMC during the West Bengal assembly election in 2021, Banerjee said, "I am not a coward, I am a fighter. I have fought for a long time."
She also added that in the past, shots were fired at her and she was attacked by sticks, "but I never bowed down".
The seventh and final phase of the UP election will be held on 7 March. Varanasi is one of the cities going to the polls in the final phase. The election result will be declared on 10 March.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and PTI.)