BJP chief Amit Shah hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the massive violence during his Kolkata roadshow. During a press conference on Wednesday, Shah released ‘photographic evidence’ and blamed the ruling party in Bengal for vandalising Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue. The BJP chief claimed that Trinamool workers had vandalised the statue to invoke sympathy from voters. He even said that it would have been difficult for him to escape the violence if the CRPF contingent was not present at the spot.
“If you think that an FIR will scare the BJP workers, you are wrong. I can assure you that BJP workers and the people of Bengal will aggressively vote against you,” Shah said in a message for Banerjee. “Mamata Banerjee claims that the BJP is doing the violence in Bengal. I want to tell her, we are fighting in every state in the nation, unlike you on 42 seats in West Bengal. Violence didn't take place in 6 phases of elections anywhere but Bengal which proves that TMC is responsible for it,” Shah further said.
During the presser, Shah claimed that it was Trinamool conspiracy all along. "Since the morning, there was a discussion across Kolkata that some people will do violence inside the university. Police did not act neither did they try to arrest anybody," Shah said. "The place where the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is placed is inside the rooms. The college was closed, everything is locked, then who opened the room. Even the lock is not broken, then who had the keys. The TMC has captured the college," Shah further said.
Tension was palpable since noon, hours before Shah's roadshow began, after posters with images of Modi and him were dismantled by the police, provoking several senior leaders to stage a flash sit-in. BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya,
the party's pointsman for the northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan remonstrated. Vijayvargiya was seen involved in a heated argument with a police officer.
"No democracy exists in Bengal," Pradhan said, adding the people of the state were with Narendra Modi.
"You (the TMC and Mamata Banerjee) are scared of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. But why should you be afraid of their posters?" Sarma said.
The police stopped Shah's convoy on Vivekananda road, just few meters ahead of Swami Vivekananda's ancestral house and told him to terminate the roadshow there as per the permission granted by the authorities, BJP state vice-president Jaiprakash Majumdar told PTI.
(With agency inputs)