BJP, TMC workers clash in Kolkata; several injured

A janeu-dhari Shiv-bhakt Rahul Gandhi hit the campaign trail in Gujarat. File

A janeu-dhari Shiv-bhakt Rahul Gandhi hit the campaign trail in Gujarat. File

Another clash occurred between workers of the parties at the Jorabagan area in central Kolkata over a motorcycle rally by the BJP's youth wing to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanada.

The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has embarked on an eight-day motorbike rally which started from Contai, in the southern part of the state, to Coochbehar in the north where it is scheduled to end on January 18. "Despite having the court order, we are not being allowed to take out the bike rally.We have chose to cancel our programme", state BJP president Dilip Ghosh told reporters outside state BJP headquarters as he demanded the imposition of President's Rule in the state.

The street fights also attracted Calcutta High Court's notice after its special officer, Rabi Shankar Datta, submitted that his vehicle was vandalised and he sustained minor injuries near Mohammad Ali Park at 11.15 am.

There are also allegations that BJP workers tore posters of Swami Vivekananda that had been put up by the AITC.

Tension had been building up from Thursday, when BJP supporters reached Binani Bhavanfor Friday's rally. "More than 10 workers of our party suffered severe injuries".

But Trinamool minister Sashi Panja said BJP supporters were harassing local women. "If there is any trouble at Gangasagar, the annual Hindu pilgrimage in Bengal, you will be responsible, you who are doing all kinds of conspiracies", Banerjee said without naming the BJP. The second round began after BJP supporters came in hordes to rescue their colleagues. But TMC workers foiled our attempts by attacking our workers at several places. Several passersby and residents were injured. "We demand the imposition of President's Rule in the state and we will meet the Governor to apprise him of the incident", Ghosh said.

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BJP sources said that party president Amit Shah spoke to Ghosh and inquired about the incident.

In the afternoon Mr Ghosh said, "We informed the our party's central leadership about the violent attack on our rally".

Notably, the Mamata Banerjee-ruled West Bengal government had earlier rejected the state police administration on Monday. Union minister Gadkari will not be coming for the BGBS. There is no rule of law in the state.

West Bengal parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said, "Kolkata Police had issued a notification on December 20 a year ago banning the display of weapons in rallies". "It is unfortunate that they chose Swami Vivekananda's birthday for this political drama", Chatterjee said. "We have requested the Central government not to send ministers to any function organised by the West Bengal government".

Political analysts, however, are of the opinion that the political clash has led to deterioration in Centre -state relations and harmed the image of West Bengal.

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