Ahead of BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s arrival in Kolkata, Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers allegedly attacked senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including former Bengal minister Suvendu Adhikari, youth morcha leader Shanku Deb Panda and Shibaji Singha Roy in Kolkata on 17 February.
Roy, who is the president of the BJP’s Kolkata North unit, reportedly suffered serious injuries and was admitted to Apollo Hospital in the city.
The incident happened in the Phoolbagan area of the city when the BJP leaders were going to the deputy commissioner’s office.
Adhikari alleged bricks were thrown at him by TMC workers.
Suvendu Adhikari, Shankudeb Panda, Shibaji Singha Roy and other BJP leaders were part of a “mega public rally”, as the party named it, earlier in the day that was attacked. Sharing a video of the attack on his convoy, Suvendu Adhikari expressed anguish and blamed TMC for attacking the BJP convoy.
BJP’s Amit Malviya shared another video of Shibaji Singha Roy being brought to a hospital in a taxi and alleged that it was another ‘murderous attack’ on the saffron party leaders by TMC. He called Mamata Banerjee a disaster for West Bengal, pointing out that law and order had no place in the state in her regime. Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat condemned the deplorable attack on the BJP leaders and claimed that the fear of loss had made Mamata berserk.
In another incident of possible political violence, crude bombs were hurled at West Bengal Labour Minister Zakir Hossain while he was walking towards Nimtita station to board a train for Kolkata. The incident occurred in Murshidabad when Zakir Hossain was standing on the platform of Nimtita station in Jangipur sub-division while going to catch a train for Kolkata.
The people of his opposition group allegedly hurled bombs at the state minister after which he had to be brought to Jangipur Super Specialty Hospital for treatment. During the incident, and subsequent clashes, several of his supporters who were with Minister Zakir Hossain at the train station were injured. So far, the West Bengal police have informed that no arrest has been made after the incident. West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar condemned the attack on the state minister and said that he was concerned about the spike in violence and noted that it has no place in a democracy.
The West Bengal Assembly with 294 seats will go to the polls in April-May 2021. Trinamool holds 222 seats at present. The BJP made major inroads in the state in the Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats out of 42 and establishing itself as the major opposition force in the state. It is looking to repeat its unexpectedly stellar performance in the 2021 polls, hoping to secure a majority of over 200+ seats.