The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Tuesday’s violence in Kolkata at Amit Shah’s roadshow during which a bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was smashed to pieces.
At a press conference in New Delhi’s Constitution Club, TMC MPs led by Derek O’Brien claimed that the violence was carried out by “BJP goons from outside”.
“The students were on a democratic protest with black placards. Goons of Amit Shah from outside Bengal orchestrated the violence. The video establishes Amit Shah is a liar,” O’Brien said.
“The BJP is trying to justify this act. They are giving excuses like ‘the gate was locked’. The videos establish the truth. Amit Shah is a con-master,” he added.
Commenting on the arrest of BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga, he said, “They are outraged about the arrest of outsiders? Tajinder Bagga…who is this guy? Didn’t he slap somebody in Delhi? So you take people from outside and then you are making other accusations.”
O’Brien also said that it’s widely reported in Bengali media that while the desecration of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue was being done, the slogans were ‘Vidyasagar finish, where is the josh’.
The TMC MP also said that a delegation from the party will meet the Election Commissioner in the evening and submit the videos from the violence.
He also said that there are pictures showing central forces assisting BJP at poll booths.
“We have nothing personally against the central forces. We have two startling pictures to expose what we have been saying that the Central forces are in cahoots with the BJP in Bengal,” he said while alleging that BJP candidates are coercing voters to vote for the party by entering polling booths accompanied by central forces.
Shah was holding a roadshow on Tuesday in the heart of Kolkata when his convoy was pelted with stones near the Calcutta University, triggering a clash between supporters of TMC and those of BJP.
The BJP chief escaped unhurt but was forced to cut short the roadshow, which was to conclude at Swami Vivekananda’s house at Simla Street.
Several motorcycles parked outside were vandalised and set ablaze. Shards of broken glass littered the lobby of the college where a bust of Vidyasagar, a key figure of Bengal Renaissance, was smashed to smithereens.
While the TMC blamed the BJP for the violence, Shah pointed out that the BJP is contesting in every state of the country against multiple parties but it is only West Bengal where violence has been recorded.
“Mamata Banerjee claims that BJP is doing it. I want to tell her that we are fighting in every state in the nation, unlike you on 42 seats in West Bengal. Violence didn’t take place in six phases of elections anywhere but Bengal which proves that TMC is responsible for it,” he said.
Earlier today, Shah said that he escaped alive only because of the presence of CRPF personnel at the roadshow.
“It would have been very difficult for me to escape safely from there if the CRPF was not present. Only because of good fortune am I safe,” he said at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Shah said that the incident proves the ruling TMC led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee can go to any length.