West Bengal is a politically eventful state today, with Kolkata reporting an incident of shoes hurled at BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy’s vehicles during a roadshow. The BJP decided to go ahead with the roadshow in southern Kolkata despite Kolkata Police not granting it permission for the same. Vijayvargiya led the roadshow that began at 2:30 PM.
The BJP leadership here had anticipated that the Mamata Banerjee-led state government would not grant the permission for the roadshow scheduled at 2:30 PM, sources said. “From our past experiences, we know that the police withholds permission for BJP programmes. This is a peaceful rally to welcome Sovan da to his new post. We will take out the rally despite the police not giving permission for it,” BJP Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh told reporters.
The police denial was apparently a bid of the TMC dispensation to stall the BJP that is intensifying its campaign for the assembly election slated expectedly for April or May this year.
The incident of shoe-hurling could be an aftermath of Vijayvargiya’s “misogynistic” Twitter post on Thursday as misogynistic, as the TMC had alleged that day. The post had a photograph of chief minister Mamata Banerjee cooking at a tribal village off Santiniketan. It was captioned that she was doing something that she would be doing five months later.
A sarcastic Trinamool MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, a doctor-turned-politician, said, “If you are a woman and you have aspirations to join active politics, remember, our country is plagued with misogynists from BJP like these who plan to send women back to the kitchen. Can’t imagine the lack of respect that women in Kailash Vijayvargiya family must be facing!”
TMC turns violent; police catch BJP
Elsewhere, in small-town Bengal, a violent ruckus followed RSS’s student wing ABVP’s attempt to hoist the Bharat Mata flag inside a college. The TMC objected to it and hurled crude bombs at the ABVP-affiliated students. Two parked motorcycles were set on fire.
At the Bajkul College situated in the Bhagwanpur Thana area of East Midnapore district, ABVP activists went to the college to hoist their flag, sources told Sirf News. Bombing from TMCP members began shortly after 12 noon, they said. The incident has caused widespread tension in the area.
The BJP claimed that several ABVP supporters were injured in the clashes. The TMC has denied the allegation, accusing the ABVP of violence instead.
Members of the TMCP then blocked the Digha-Nandakumar 116B National Highway in Heriya Bazar.
The details of the case and the merits of allegations notwithstanding, West Bengal Police have arrested three ABVP students and a BJP leader in connection with the clash at the Bajkul College.
‘Who is an insider?’ askes Anurag Thakur
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on 4 January slammed the TMC over its ‘outsider-insider’ debate. He said, “If a union minister is branded as an outsider in West Bengal, people from which place are considered insiders?” Maintaining that West Bengal is an important part of the country, Thakur wondered whether it was a crime for a union minister to visit the state.
Thakur was speaking to reporters at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.
Thakur, who came to visit ailing BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly at Woodland Hospital in Kolkata, said that West Bengal has given stalwarts in various fields to the country, while people from all parts of India have settled in the state and participated in its advancement. He questioned the thought process that leads to such labelling of fellow country and asked whether it should be allowed to flourish or checked.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) has alleged that the BJP is bringing in “outsiders” to fight the state assembly elections due in April-May.
In a separate incident, BJP’s West Bengal state committee member Krishnendu Mukherjee on 4 January alleged that “TMC goons” had opened fire on his car in Asansol in Paschim Barddhaman district but he was saved by a whisker as the assailants failed to open the vehicle’s doors. The ruling party in the state, however, dismissed his allegation and said the incident might be a fallout of Mukherjee’s old rivalries.