BJP, TMC workers clash; several injured

13 January, 2018, 16:32 | Author: Wade Massey
  • BJP calls off bike rally in Kolkata alleges Trinamool members attacked and injured its workers

The scramble between political parties to claim Swami Vivekananda's legacy ended with blood being spilled on the streets of north and central Kolkata on Friday, with Trinamool Congress and BJP supporters clashing at least four times barely 500 metres from the spiritual leader's ancestral home on his 155th birth anniversary.

Ghosh claimed that Union minister Nitin Gadkari has decided not to attend the upcoming Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 in view of the "brutal attack" on BJP workers. The state does not deserve any courtesy or cooperation from the Centre.

Several people were injured after clashes broke out between activists of the two parties outside BJP state headquarters here and at another place this morning. The rally, named "Pratirodh Sankalp Abhigyan", is also aimed at highlighting the alleged atrocities of the AITC government. Tension soon spread to Central Avenue and on Red Road. Trinamool supporters initially beat a retreat and BJP workers went on a rampage.

The Morcha alleged that they were attacked by "TMC goons" when they were trying to take out a rally from Jorabagan area.

There are also allegations that BJP workers tore posters of Swami Vivekananda that had been put up by the AITC. BJP state president Ghosh called off the programme and staged a dharna near Gandhi Statue. "We have requested the Central government not to send ministers to any function organised by the West Bengal government". "Many of our supporters are severely injured", alleged Ghosh.

Trinamool minister Partha Chatterjee called the BJP's "hullabaloo" a desperate bid to hit the headlines. But despite such orders, BJP workers took out a bike rally carrying sharp-edged weapons.

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The Trinamool Congress members had assembled at the spot to observe Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary.

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.

The street fights also attracted Calcutta High Court's notice after its special officer, Rabi Shankar Datta, submitted that his auto was vandalised and he sustained minor injuries near Mohammad Ali Park at 11.15 am. However, the police had cancelled permission to the rally which forced the BJP to move Calcutta High Court.

The Calcutta High Court has directed that the BJYM's rally be stopped for two days and recommence from January 15, following the mob attack on it here.

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. "A political issue can not be a reason for cancelling a pre-decided visit to a Summit which the West Bengal government has organised".

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