Clashes broke out during the roadshow of BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday evening in north Kolkata.
The incident adds a new chapter to the ongoing political violence that gripped the state since the start of the Lok Sabha elections on 11 April.
Reports say that the clashes erupted between student activists of the TMC and BJP when Shah’s roadshow reached Calcutta University, which is located on College Street. Some students reportedly showed black flags to Shah, irking students aligned to the BJP.
According to ANI, sticks and stones were hurled at the vehicle carrying the BJP chief forcing the police to resort to lathicharge. Some people were injured in the clashes.
The BJP had earlier today alleged that party posters and flags were removed by TMC workers and police ahead of Shah’s roadshow.
“Mamata ji’s goons and police removed all the posters and flags. They escaped soon after we reached here,” BJP Bengal incharge Kailash Vijayvargiya told ANI.
Shah’s roadshow was scheduled to start from Sahid Minar Maidaan. The Kolkata Police denied permission, forcing the BJP to start the roadshow from Dharmatala.
The BJP chief was seen waving to a sea of supporters amid chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as the massive roadshow navigated its way to its destination – the house of Swami Vivekananda at Simla Street.
On Moday Shah was refused permission for a rally in Jadavpur. Later on the same day, he dared Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to arrest him for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ at a rally in Jaynagar.
The BJP has repeatedly accused the TMC in the numerous incidents of violence against its party workers and leaders.
At a press conference in New Delhi earlier today, Home Minister Rajnath Singh criticised Banerjee for failing to stop the wave of violence.
“There is no place for political violence in a healthy democracy. It’s unfortunate that more and more incidences of violence are taking place in West Bengal,” Singh told the media.
“What can be more unfortunate than the fact that the Chief Minister is unable to stop violence in the state?” he added, referring to Banerjee.
West Bengal is the only state to have recorded poll violence in every Lok Sabha election phase held so far.
On Monday night, TMC workers allegedly vandalised cars of BJP leaders at the home of a saffron party worker in Barasat.
A BJP activist was killed in Jhargram district on Sunday. Vehicles in the convoy of BJP candidate from Ghatal, Bharati Ghosh, were vandalised on the day of the sixth phase of polling.
The car of sitting BJP lawmaker from Asansol, Babul Supriyo, was damaged allegedly by TMC workers in his own constituency in the fourth phase of the elections on 29 April.