BJP, Trinamool Congress trade charges over violence in West Bengal

PTI

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah addresses a press conference at BJP headquarters, in New Delhi, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is also seen. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah addresses a press conference at BJP headquarters, in New Delhi, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is also seen. (PTI Photo)

A day after a statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised inside a college in Kolkata after clashs between supporters of BJP and Trinamool Congress, both political parties have accused each other for being responsible for the violence.

BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday accused West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress of indulging in violence in the state and alleged that the Election Commission has been a “mute spectator”.

Addressing a press conference here, Shah also said he would not have escaped unhurt without CRPF protection when his convoy was allegedly attacked in Kolkata on Tuesday.

He said West Bengal has witnessed violence in all the six phases of Lok Sabha polls. “The BJP is contesting polls in all states. There has been no violence. But there has been violence in West Bengal as TMC is contesting elections there … it is simple,” he said.

Shah also accused TMC “goons” of vandalising the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar inside a college, saying it was done to gain “sympathy” as the Mamata Banerjee-led party has realised its “reverse count” has begun.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inspects the vandalised statue of Bengali writer and philosopher Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, after the clashes that broke out at BJP President Amit Shah's roadshow, in Kolkata, Tuesday night, May 14, 2019. (Handout Photo/ PTI)

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inspects the vandalised statue of Bengali writer and philosopher Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, after the clashes that broke out at BJP President Amit Shah’s roadshow, in Kolkata, Tuesday night, May 14, 2019. (Handout Photo/ PTI)

Accusing the poll panel of being a “mute spectator” in West Bengal, he alleged that history-sheeters were not arrested before polls.

He also alleged that the EC has laid “double standards” and it has been partial towards the Trinamool Congress.

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday released a video to claim that “BJP goons” damaged the statue of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar during violence in Kolkata and said it submit them to the Election Commission.

The reaction from the TMC came close on the heels of BJP president Amit Shah accusing the West Bengal’s ruling party of indulging in violence in the state and alleged that the Election Commission has been a “mute spectator”.

At a press conference here, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said, “The video not only clearly establishes what the BJP did, but proves that its chief Amit Shah is a liar.”

“The streets of Kolkata tinged with shock and anger. What happened yesterday hurt Bengali pride,” he said, adding the TMC will take the videos it has to the poll panel and is authenticating them on record.

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.

(PTI)