A day after Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged an attack in which she suffered injuries to her leg and neck, the BJP said it would complain to the Election Commission that she’s “spreading lies about attack for politics”.
In the latest twist in the Bengal election campaign, a delegation of BJP leaders will meet Election Commission officials in Kolkata to complain against the Chief Minister’s accusation and seek an investigation.
A delegation of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress also plans to meet Election Commission officers to file their own complaint about the alleged attack.
Mamata Banerjee, 66, said last evening she was attacked while she was campaigning in Nandigam after filing her nomination papers for the Bengal election.
She alleged that she was pushed by four or five people against her car and had the door shut on her at a time when there were no police personnel around her. Looking pale, in pain, and pointing to her leg, she said, “See how it is swelling up”.
Asked if it was a planned attack, she said, “Of course it is a conspiracy… there were no policemen around me”. She was taken to a hospital in Kolkata, 130 km away, after the incident.
This morning, Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, a Trinamool Congress MP, shared an image of her in hospital with a message targeting the BJP. “BJP brace yourselves to see the power of people of BENGAL on Sunday, May 2nd. Get ready,” he tweeted.
.@BJP4Bengal Brace yourselves to see the power of people of BENGAL on Sunday, May 2nd.
Get READY!!! pic.twitter.com/dg6bw1TxiU
— Abhishek Banerjee (@abhishekaitc) March 10, 2021
The BJP, which had blamed the Trinamool Congress after its chief JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked in December, accused the Chief Minister of pulling a stunt in sheer desperation after realising she could lose the election.
“Not one eye witness seems to corroborate Mamata Banerjee’s ‘attack’ version. People of Nandigram are upset and angry at her for blaming them and bringing disrepute,” tweeted Bengal BJP, posting what it said were witness accounts from the spot.
Not one eye witness seems to corroborate Mamata Banerjee’s ‘attack’ version. People of Nandigram are upset and angry at her for blaming them and bringing disrepute.
Clearly she is nervous about her prospects in Nandigram and has now lost confidence, if any, of the people too… pic.twitter.com/vBFFjbt1UF
— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) March 11, 2021
State BJP vice-president Arjun Singh said: “She did drama for sympathy.”
At the spot where Mamata Banerjee was hurt, a broken pole is the focus of investigations into what went down on Wednesday evening at the crowded market where the Chief Minister had been greeting supporters.
Some suggest her car hit the pole, while her party maintains the Chief Minister, who has Z-plus security, was surrounded and pushed, which led to her injuries.
The Election Commission has asked the Bengal administration for a report by Friday.
The fresh round of allegations underscores the acrimony in the Mamata Banerjee versus BJP fight that is the theme of the Bengal election starting March 27.
Nandigram, where the Chief Minister is pitted against her one-time trusted lieutenant turned BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari, is the blockbuster battle of these polls.
Mr Adhikari won the Nandigram seat in 2016 as a Trinamool candidate and has been calling Mamata Banerjee an “outsider”. Fighting that label, the Chief Minister has been campaigning extensively in the town that catapulted her party to power in 2011 following an agitation against farmland acquisition.
The results of elections in Bengal, three more states and the Union Territory of Puducherry will be declared on May 2.
The incident came a day after the Election Commission replaced the Director General of Bengal Police, Mr Virender, amid allegations of violence voiced by the BJP. An IPS officer of the 1987 batch, P Nirajnayan, has been named the new police chief.