Accusing workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress of vandalising the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at a college in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that a grand statue of the Bengali icon will be installed at the same spot.
In a public event in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau, the PM put the blame on the TMC for the violence that hit Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday. It was during the violence that a bust of Vidyasagar was smashed to smithereens.
“We saw hooliganism by TMC workers again during Bhai Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata. They vandalised Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue. We are committed to Vidyasagar’s vision and will install his grand statue at the same spot,” the PM declared.
The PM recalled how he was forced to cut short his speech in West Medinipur due to “hooliganism by TMC goons”.
“Some months back during my rally in West Medinipur, TMC goons indulged in hooliganism. After this, in Thakurnagar, the situation was such that I had to cut short my speech and was forced to leave the stage,” he said.
The PM also criticised BSP supremo Mayawati for not speaking up against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s accusation that the violence was caused by “outsiders” brought into Bengal by the BJP.
“I had thought the way Mamata didi is targeting UP-Bihar and the people of Purvanchal calling them outsiders for her politics, Behen Mayawati will surely slam Mamata didi. But this did not happen,” he said.
On Wednesday, the PM had during a rally in Basirhat said that the violence was the “revenge” that Banerjee declared publicly a few days ago.
“Mamata didi had declared publicly two days ago that she will take revenge. She fulfilled her agenda within 24 hours,” he said.
Stones were pelted on Shah’s roadshow near Vidyasagar College, which led to a clash between TMC and BJP workers in Kolkata. Several motorcycles parked outside were vandalised and set ablaze.
Contingents of Kolkata Police deployed for the roadshow swung into action and were seen chasing away the warring groups. Several people were also arrested for violence.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed the violence was triggered by goons the BJP brought from outside Bengal. She also accused “outsiders” belonging to the BJP of destroying the statue of Vidyasagar.
A day after the clash, 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.
Shah said that the incident proves the ruling TMC can go to any length.