The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday mounted its attack on the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal over the incidents of political violence reported from across the constituencies where elections were held in the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections.
Accusing the TMC of carrying out attacks on party supporters as well as candidates, the BJP said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is nervous over her “impending defeat”.
Addressing the media, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the BJP fears TMC may indulge in “narsanhar (massacre)” after the end of polling.
“We fear that Bengal Chief Minister’s repeated ‘inch inch ka badla’ threat is emboldening TMC cadres to carry out violence. We are afraid: will TMC start a narsanhar (massacre) there after the end of polling? Thus we demand that central armed police forces be allowed to remain there till the end of model code of conduct,” Sitharaman said.
She said that EC should take cognisance of the violence in Bengal.
“Through the media, we are seeing how TMC leaders are openly threatening voters and preventing them from voting,” she said, adding that of the nine Lok Sabha seats where polling is being held, violence has been recorded on six.
She also said that central police force should be active till 6 pm today.
West Bengal is the only state which has witnessed political violence in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections.
Bombs were hurled and clashes were reported from some parts of the constituencies.
A BJP camp office in Rajarhat under Barasat constituency was set on fire.
Crude bombs were hurled in Raidighi of Mathurapur and voters were allegedly threatened by TMC activists. Clashes between TMC and BJP supporters were reported from Basirhat.
Voters protested outside polling station number 189 in the constituency accusing TMC workers of preventing them from casting their vote.
BJP candidate from South Kolkata, Chandra Kumar Bose, equated the TMC to “a terrorist organisation” and alleged that party workers have been threatened by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “jihadi brigade”.
Asansol MP and BJP leader Babul Supriyo said that the violence is Mamata Banerjee fulfilling her “revenge”.
“When the CM is saying she will take revenge, this is nothing new. TMC inherited this from CPI(M). Their credibility is gone. If they keep saying they are not indulging in violence, it dents their image,” he told reporters today.
BJP MP candidate Anupam Hazra alleged that TMC workers were casting proxy votes by covering their faces at a polling booth.
“Women TMC workers with covered faces are casting proxy votes. It is difficult to establish their identity. When we raised objection to it, they created a ruckus at the polling station,” he alleged.
BJP candidate for Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency, Nilanjan Roy’s car vandalised in Dongaria area of the constituency.
Stones were pelted at BJP’s Kolkata North candidate Rahul Sinha near a polling station at Park Circus area here on Sunday. The leader escaped unharmed.
In previous phases, the cars of Union Minister Babul Supriyo and BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh were vandalised. Many other BJP workers were attacked allegedly by TMC supporters.
And in one of the biggest incidents of political violence, BJP chief Amit Shah’s roadshow was attacked allegedly by TMC supporters in Kolkata’s College Street. The incident triggered a pitched battle between BJP and TMC supporters, which led to the destruction of a bust of 19th century Bengali renaissance icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.