Brought to you by
Following the violent clashes in BJP chief Amit Shah's rally on Tuesday, May 14 in Kolkata, Shah addressed a press conference on Wednesday and slammed Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government for its intolerance and violence.
Speaking in the press conference, BJP chief said: "Till now 6 phases are done and there was no poll violence reported from anywhere in the country but Bengal. I want to tell Mamata didi that you are contesting on seats only in Bengal while the BJP is fighting in all the states over the country, if we were inciting violence then it would be everywhere around the country."
Brushing off the allegations by Trinamool that the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised by 'BJP goons', Shah said showing a picture of the college premises: "The gate was intact after the clash. If the gate was intact after the clash, then the allegation by Trinamool is wrong. Stones were pelted from inside the campus by the Trinamool, we were outside the campus, how would anyone go inside? The Trinamool did it on purpose in their greed to seek votes. BJP workers obviously would not be able to secure the key. The statue was vandalized by the Trinamool goons only for votes."
He then added: "There were three attacks. Stones were pelted, kerosene bottles were set afire and thrown. There was news since morning that there would be violence from inside the college but the Police did not do anything. After the violence you can see that the gate is intact they are saying we vandalized the statue of Vidyasagar, but we were outside and Trinamool people were inside the college and the statue is inside the rooms, the college was closed then who opened the doors. In the 6 phases, there was heavy rigging. The EC is a silent spectator. Two days back, Didi threatened our netas, why did the EC not take action against her."
Slamming West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said: "If Mamata Banerjee thinks that violence will help her win elections, I want to tell her - Didi, you may be senior to me in age but I have more experience. I want to advise you on elections - more 'kichad(dirt) of violence' you spread, more Lotus will bloom."
He also said: "If you want to send a message that by filing an FIR against me the BJP karyakartas will become fearful, then I want to tell you that, on the contrary, they and the people of WB will make efforts with renewed vigour to remove you."
He then declared: "I have travelled the country. In the 5th and 6th phases BJP has by itself passed the majority mark and after the 7th phase, the BJP is going to cross the 300-seat mark."
On Tuesday, sticks were hurled at Shah’s truck and at the Police who were manning the crowd at Shah's rally. Black flags were waved, held placards and raised anti-BJP slogans outside the University of Calcutta.
Soon after, a scuffle broke out between Trinamool workers and the BJP workers, following which the Police resorted to lathi-charge.
In the aftermath of the violent clashes, a BJP delegation led by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi met the Election Commission in New Delhi and demanded that CM Mamata Banerjee should be banned from election campaigning ahead of the seventh and final phase of the polls.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had made fiery remarks at Vidyasagar College on Tuesday evening after arriving at the location hours after violent clashes.
"The entire college has been attacked and Vidyasagar's statue has been vandalised. Calcutta University's students have been attacked," she alleged, going on to level serious charges against the BJP by saying, "I haven't seen such danga (violent hooliganism) by any political party. Hired goons were brought in by the BJP from Bihar."
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.