BJP accuses Mamata, Abhishek of instigating violence in Nandigram before polls

Kolkata, May 23 (PTI) The West Bengal BJP on Thursday accused TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee of “instigating” violence in Nandigram ahead of the May 25 polls there.

A woman BJP worker was killed in Nandigram in Purba Medinipur district in the early hours of Thursday, triggering large-scale protests by saffron party activists there.

“The violence happened owing to instigation by the Chief Minister and her nephew,” BJP’s state general secretary and spokesperson Jagannath Chattopadhyay said at a press conference here.

Abhishek Banerjee is considered number two in the ruling party of West Bengal.

The BJP has alleged that comments and speeches of the top TMC leadership have led to violence in Nandigram, which comes under the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency which goes to polls on May 25.

TMC leader Rajib Banerjee charged local BJP leaders and workers with vandalising houses of Trinamool Congress supporters in Nandigram.

Chattopadhyay said that Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly and BJP’s Nandigram MLA Suvendu Adhikari visited the affected area in Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to polls on Saturday.

The BJP leader asserted that the violence shows that the ruling party in the state does not have faith in the democratic system in which people cast their votes freely.

Claiming that the TMC has understood that all the eight seats up for polls in the sixth phase in West Bengal will go to the BJP, he alleged that the ruling party of the state was trying to browbeat BJP leaders and workers because of that.

Of those eight constituencies, the BJP had won seven in 2019 while only Ghatal went to the TMC.

“Voters are getting ready to give reply to the politics of vengeance through their votes,” Chattopadhyay said.

People will give their riposte to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s comments about monks of Bharat Sevashram Sangha and Ramakrishna Mission.

Banerjee had, during her speech in an election rally on May 18, alleged that a few monks of the two monastic orders were working “under instructions of the BJP”.

Two days later, Banerjee had praised the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha for their philanthropic work, saying she was not against any institution but criticised one or two persons for indulging in politics despite being monks.

The BJP leader demanded that the Election Commission take action against any officer of the civil administration and police who it may find not neutral in order to ensure free and fair polls in the remaining two phases in the state of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.

He said that the elections in the first five phases in West Bengal, known for poll-related violence, have been comparatively peaceful.

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