BJP offices, workers attacked as TMC takes to streets
TMC men also protested in front of minister Babul Supriyo’s house in Kolkata demanding his arrest
From Kolkata to New Delhi to Bhubaneshwar, TMC MPs, leaders and workers held protests against Tuesday’s arrest of their MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay as alleged workers of West Bengal’s ruling party attacked BJP offices, hurling bombs and setting them on fire.
Furious over the arrest of Bandyopadhyay, TMC leader in the Lok Sabha and a close Mamata Banerjee aide, party workers also demonstrated in front of CBI offices in Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar, where the MP was taken for production in a court after his arrest.
A BJP delegation met West Bengal governor KN Tripathi and petitioned him for imposition of President’s rule in the state due to deteriorating law and order situation.
TMC workers staged a demonstration in front of union minister Babul Supriyo’s house in Kolkata demanding his arrest and attempted a protest march to PM Modi’s residence in Delhi but were detained mid-way. “We are protesting against Bandyopadhyay’s arrest, demanding Modi’s resignation and inquiry into his taking money from Birla and Sahara groups. We are also demanding Babul Supriyo’s resignation for his involvement in the Rose Valley scam case,” TMC MP Sugata Roy told reporters at Tughlak Road police station where they were under detention.
“We were marching peacefully towards the prime minister’s residence, but the police detained us mid-way and manhandled few of our MPs,” Roy said, adding 36 TMC MPs took part in the protest march. They were let off in the evening.
Bandyopadhyay, TMC’s face in New Delhi, was the second party MP after actor-turned-politician Tapas Pal to be held in connection with the alleged Rs 15,000 crore chit fund scam which spanned several states including West Bengal and Odisha.
Hours after alleged TMC workers vandalised the state BJP headquarters in downtown Kolkata on Tuesday evening, they attacked the house of state party general secretary Krishna Bhattacharya in Hooghly district. In another incident at Chinsurah in Hooghly district, alleged TMC workers set on fire a BJP office after beating up two party workers. “Our party offices have been ransacked throughout the state. Bombs have been hurled at homes of various party leaders. The police is just a mute spectator,” BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya held out a veiled threat to the TMC. “We may not be as strong as TMC in Bengal. But in the entire country we are the strongest political force. I wonder if BJP workers in Delhi decide that TMC MPs would not be allowed to enter Delhi, would they be able to enter Delhi? The answer is no. If BJP workers decide to protest across the country, would Mamata Banerjee be able to roam the country freely? If TMC doesnt mend its ways, we will also not sit silently,” Vijyavargiya, who is also BJP observer in-charge of West Bengal, said in Kolkata.
Vijayvargiya lashed out at Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar for allegedly turning a “blind eye” to the attack on BJP offices. He urged the CBI to investigate the alleged role of Kumar in “wiping out” evidence against TMC leaders in the chit fund scam during his tenure as the head of the state government-formed SIT. “Is this is a democracy? Is this is a sign of law and order? For five hours, hundreds of TMC activists surrounded the BJP office and pelted stones, injured the workers, and police remained a mute spectator.”