Clashes broke out between two factions of BJP workers minutes after party general secretary and observer for the state unit Varun Gandhi left Singur on Tuesday after a hasty interaction with farmers, an event that too was marked by blatant unruliness by party workers.
The clashes left a BJP leader grievously injured and some other party workers with minor bruises. Even the media came under attack from stick-wielding and brick-batting party workers who did not want the clashes to be covered.
On Tuesday morning, Varun interacted with willing and unwilling farmers of Singur at the Bajemalia hospital ground and pledged to take up their demands. But moments after he and other state unit leaders completed addressing the farmers and left the place, a group of BJP workers led by Ganesh Rai, district president of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the party’s labour wing, turned up at the venue and started a demonstration.
Rai and his followers reportedly wanted to show black flags to state president Rahul Sinha, peeved at the party’s dismal performance in panchayat polls and demanding a change in leadership. On finding Sinha had left, Rai broke into an altercation with BJP district president Krishna Bhattacharya.
“You are worthless. As long as you remain the district party president, the BJP will not be able to do anything,” Rai reportedly shouted at Bhattacharya that provoked her supporters into attacking the BMS leader and his supporters.
In the ensuing scuffle, Rai was left with a broken nose, bruised lips and blood seeping from his head. His supporters were also beaten black and blue by Bhattacharya’s men.
The media, which was covering the event was chased by BJP workers, who even attempted to snatch away cameras.
A photojournalist was left with broken spectacles and others suffered minor injuries.
Later in the evening, Rai lodged an FIR against Bhattacharya and two others.
However, state BJP president Rahul Sinha denied any trouble had broken out among BJP workers. Senior party leader Tathagata Roy admitted he had heard of the scuffle but said he is yet to get the details.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi, while addressing farmers said both CPI(M) and Trinamool has been playing with the sentiments of land losers all along without intending to come up with a solution.
“A team of legal advisors would interact with farmers, speak to them about their demands and submit a deputation to the President,” Varun told farmers.