Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Wednesday accused the Trinamool Congress of creating an atmosphere of violence in West Bengal.
He was speaking at a press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi. He said that it was the TMC and not the BJP that was behind the violence seen in West Bengal during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Amit Shah said that if BJP was responsible for poll violence, it would be visible in other states of India as well and not just West Bengal.
“In the last six phases, only Bengal has witnessed violence. Mamata Banerjee claims that BJP is behind the violence [in Bengal]. I want to tell her you are fighting on just 42 seats. We are fighting across the country. We are pitted against everyone but there has been no violence elsewhere,” Amit Shah said.
Amit Shah also said he would not have escaped unhurt without CRPF protection when his convoy was allegedly attacked in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (BJP) fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during a massive road show by former’s president Amit Shah, who escaped unhurt but was forced to cut short the jamboree and had to be escorted to safety by the police.
Parts of the city plunged into a welter of violence as his convoy was attacked with stones by alleged TMC supporters from inside the hostel of Vidyasagar College, triggering a clash between supporters of the two parties, officials said.
Police mute spectators
Amit Shah accused the state police of acting as ‘mute spectators’ during the clashes.
“Yesterday, three hours before the [BJP] roadshow, banners and posters removed. The police was a mute spectator. They tried to provoke our party workers but that didn’t work,” he said.
Presenting pictures of from the clashes that took place in Kolkata yesterday, Amit Shah said that TMC workers broke Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar’s statue and blamed it on the BJP. He said that the gate of the university was closed and that BJP workers were outside the university hence they could not have broken the statue.
Amit Shah alleged that three attacks took place on the BJP convoy including arson and stone pelting.
He alleged that rumours were flying since Tuesday morning that university students will create disturbance during the BJP roadshow but the West Bengal Police did not do anything to ensure the safety of BJP workers.
Amit Shah also raised questions on the impartiality of the Election Commission in acting on complaints of poll violence in West Bengal. He alleged that the EC has laid “double standards” and it has been partial towards the Trinamool Congress.
He alleged that the Election Commission has become a mute spectator in West Bengal. “Why aren’t goons being arrested, which is a normal practice during elections? If the situation remains so, people will question the integrity of the Election Commission. But I still hope that EC will act in the last phase,” Amit Shah said.
Amit Shah added, “Didi [Mamata Banerjee] threatened in public gathering. Why didn’t EC take notice? Why wasn’t she banned?”
After violence and arson marred BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata, a party delegation urged the Election Commission Tuesday to bar West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from campaigning in the state and alleged that “constitutional machinery” has collapsed there.