Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 10 March, was allegedly attacked in Nandigram.
On Thursday, the doctor treating her informed that she has suffered severe bone injuries on her ankle and shoulder. She was also running a slight fever and the doctor said that she will be kept under observation for 48 hours.
"Four or five people came in front of the car and pushed the door. This was done purposely," the CM had said right after the incident, adding that no local police was present at the spot when the incident took place.
In the meantime, social media was flooded with opinions about the incident, ranging from unequivocal condemnation of the alleged attack to the incident being dubbed “nautanki”. Needless to say, the urgent social media pronouncements were helped by the fact that West Bengal is a poll-bound state and all eyes are presently east.
An Outburst of Solidarity With Mamata
Meanwhile, many political figures such as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, former Jammu and Kashmir CMs Farooq and Omar Abdullah, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, and TMC MPs Abhishek Banerjee and Mimi Chakraborty have come forward to condemn the purported attack and express solidarity with the West Bengal Chief Minister.
Reacting to the incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Those responsible should be immediately arrested and punished.”
Meanwhile, Rajasthan CM Gehlot referred to the news of the attack as “distressing” and wished Mamata Banerjee a speedy recovery.
Omar Abdullah in a tweet informed that his father Farooq Abdullah joins him in condemning the assault on Mamata Banerjee, adding, “the rough and tumble of election campaigns should not descend in to physical violence”.
Leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal Tejashwi Yadav also wished the Bengal CM a ‘speedy recovery’, calling the attack on the leader “cowardly and despicable.”
Tweeting that the “nation knows that people who have no belief in democracy can stoop to any level to vent their frustration of fighting a lost battle,” he said that the attackers must not be spared.
Tweeting a photo of Mamata in her hospital bed, a cast clasped snugly around her leg, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee asked Bengal BJP to brace themselves for 2 May – the day of election results.
TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty, on her part, posted an affectionate message for Mamata Banerjee, in which she referred to her as “my queen” and told her that Bengal prays for her health.
BJP Out to Prove Mamata Wrong
Meawhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems anxious to thwart Mamata Banerjee’s claims of having been attacked at Nandigram, and is eager to establish that she was “doing drama for sympathy”.
Bengal BJP Vice President Arjun Singh has, hyperbolically, asked ANI: "Is it Taliban that her convoy was attacked?”
“Huge police force accompanies her. Who can get near her? 4 IPS officers are her security incharge and must be suspended. Attackers don’t appear out of nowhere, they’ve to be arrested. She did drama for sympathy.”Bengal BJP Vice President Arjun Singh
Meanwhile, BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told PTI:
“It can happen that she met with an accident but to claim that she was deliberately pushed is not acceptable. She has a lot of security personnel guarding her round the clock.”
Vijayvargiya was also subsequently quoted by ANI as alleging that TMC is politicising the issue.
“However, we believe such incidents should not be politicised. I hope the Election Commission will send enough central forces to West Bengal to control the political violence,” Vijayvargiya added.
What’s more? BJP Bengal is actively tweeting theories, along with news-clippings, about how the entire incident was one big set up.
Further casting aspersions on Mamata’s claims, BJP Bengal asked: “Can (poll-bound) Nandigram ever trust her to be fair to them?”
Notably, Mamata Banerjee will be fighting former aide, now BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari for the Nandigram seat in the upcoming Assembly elections.
Congress in Two Minds?
On the one hand, multiple Congress leaders, including Rajasthan CM Gehlot, former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan, and party leaders Dr Shama Mohamed and Abhijit Banerjee, have condemned the alleged attack on Mamata.
On the other hand, leader of the same party, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been quick to dismiss the incident as “nautanki”.
“This is ‘siyasi pakhand’ to gain sympathy. Before polls, she planned this ‘nautanki’ after sensing difficulties in Nandigram. Not just CM, she is Police Mantri, too. Can you believe that there was no police with the Police Mantri?”Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, as per ANI
Chowdhury was quoted yet again by ANI on Thursday as accusing the West Bengal CM of seeking “public sympathy”.
“If there is a conspiracy, call CBI, NIA, CID or form an SIT. Why don't you (Mamata Banerjee) do it? Making an excuse of conspiracy, you want to get public sympathy. Where were the police, CCTV? Take out CCTV footage and the truth will come out.”
West Bengal will go to polls beginning 27 March in eight phases. The results of the elections will be announced on 2 May.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)
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