A leader of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress on Wednesday courted controversy by exhorting his party workers to hurl bombs at police and damage houses of independent candidates fighting the panchayat polls.
"If independent candidates give threats, then damage and set fire to their houses," Trinamool Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal said at a party rally.
Asking the people not to vote for independent candidates, many of whom are believed to be dissident Trinamool workers, Mandal said: "If the administration thinks of supporting the independents, then you hurl bombs at the police and the administration. I am telling you."
After television channels picked up Mandal's statement and started airing it frequently, the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist demanded his arrest.
"We have spoken to the State Election Commission on his speech. The SEC can always get the CD of what he said. He should be arrested," said CPI-M state secretariat member Rabin Deb.
Mandal had earlier grabbed the limelight by describing the Congress as a party of "beggars" and asking his workers not to allow rival party candidates to file nomination papers in the rural body polls.