The ongoing political turmoil in Kolkata over the alleged attack on the party president Amit Shah's convoy on Tuesday is all set to intensify. Amid the ongoing allegations and counter-claims, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brien released a video to claim that “BJP goons” damaged the statue of polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Trinamool Parliamentary team comprising Derek O'Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Manish Gupta, Nadimul Haque also met the Election Commission over the issue and submitted "proof" in support of their claim.
“Video not only clearly establishes what the BJP did, but proves party chief Amit Shah is a liar. We will take videos we have to Election Commission; we are authenticating them on record,” he said at a press conference.
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.
O' Brien further further claimed the presence of BJP's "outsider goons" who carried out violence in the city. He blamed BJP's Delhi unit leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga for the violence and unrest.
"Anybody can come and do a procession, but what were the outsiders.....Who is this fellow Tejinder Bagga? Who is he? He was arrested, is he not the same guy who slapped somebody in Delhi? You have taken in your outsider goons," he said.
Hitting back at O' Brien, Bagga challenged O' Brien to prove his presence "within 500 metres" of the spot of incident. "Nobody takes Derek O Brien seriously. I challenge him if he can prove that I was within 500 metres of the spot where violence broke out. I will leave politics if I am proved wrong or else he should leave politics if he fails to prove the charge," he said.
Trinamool carried out violence, says Amit Shah
Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah accused the Trinamool Congress of indulging in violence in the state and alleged that the Election Commission has been a "mute spectator". 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.
The BJP chief refuted Banerjee’s charge that he is an "outsider" in West Bengal and said he has come to the state to campaign for his party.
Shah wondered if he is called an outsider for coming to West Bengal, "which is very much a part of India", then why not Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee be labelled as an "outsider" when she visits New Delhi?
What Happened on Tuesday
BJP and Trinamool supporters on Tuesday fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during a massive road show by Amit Shah, who escaped unhurt but was forced to cut short the jamboree and had to be escorted to safety by the police.
Parts of the city plunged into a welter of violence as his convoy was attacked with stones by alleged Trinamool 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.
The Trinamool also accused Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain of giving orders to the police not to intervene in BJP issues in state.