Kolkata: Tensions flared up in Bhabanipur on Monday, the last day of campaigning for the upcoming bypolls as BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh alleged he was heckled in by Trinamool supporters who lunged at the leader and other BJP workers during a campaign. The Bhabanipur bypolls are scheduled to be held on September 30.
According to locals, when Ghosh was campaigning in Jadubabu Bazar in Bhawanipore, TMC supporters staged violent protests as they raised slogans of ‘Dilip Ghosh go back’ and ‘Jai Bangla’. Eye witnesses said that Ghosh was suddenly surrounded by TMC supporters who were growing in number and his security personnel were “forced” to point their guns at the TMC supporters and rescue him from the spot, though no rounds were fired.
BJP alleged that TMC supporters attacked the BJP party workers who were present with Ghosh. Bharat Narayan Singh, who received a head injury, and the other injured workers were immediately rushed to the SSKM hospital and then to a private hospital on bypass.
BJP national IT incharge Amit Malviya tweeted, “BJP’s massive outreach in Bhabanipur has unnerved the TMC. Attempts being made to stop leaders from campaigning. But how many people will they be able to stop? BJP leaders are spread out in every corner of the constituency. Importantly, public is out in large numbers to support.”
The Election Commission has sought a report from the state government on the entire issue. But war of words have already broken out between the BJP and the TMC.
Dilip Ghosh told reporters, “We are not being allowed to campaign also. I am being heckled and BJP workers were attacked. Mamata Banerjee is losing ground in her home turf. How else can these desperate attacks by the TMC workers be explained? The local police were notified but they did not help us at all.”
BJP MP Arjun Singh was also met with ‘Go Back’ slogans when he went for campaigning.
Sukanta Majumdar, BJP state president said, “Today’s attack was an insult on democracy. We condemn the attack on Ghosh. He is a veteran politician but that didn’t stop the TMC workers from heckling him. What is this animalistic behaviour? This is not the culture of Bengal. The security personnel were forced to bring out their guns to ensure the TMC workers back out.”
TMC MP Sougata Roy told reporters, “It is a small issue. No one has been stopped from campaigning. The BJP knows very well that their candidate Priyanka Tibrewal will lose by a huge margin so they are trying to create unrest. Dilip Ghosh, during campaigning, had made several unwanted comments regarding Mamata Banerjee, which was completely unacceptable so people reacted.”
TMC MLA Firhad Hakim reacted, “Who knows BJP? No one. They are trying to draw attention towards them. They were trying to spread communal tension which is why the locals reacted.”