Anti-BJP 'storm' spills out of cup at Kolkata’s iconic Coffee House
- 'No Vote for BJP' campaign has organised several rallies and programmes in the run up to the West Bengal assembly elections 2021
The iconic Indian Coffee House at Kolkata’s College Street is in the news since Monday when the tussle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and activists of an anti-BJP movement spilled beyond the electoral arena and entered the premises of the cafe which started its journey in 1876 and became a melting pot for political and cultural thoughts.
Since last month, the Indian Coffee House and College Street have been witnessing a flurry of activities by followers of the new “No Vote for BJP” campaign that has the support of a section of intellectuals and pro-Maoist groups. On Monday, the campaigners were locked in a face-off with BJP workers inside the nation’s oldest outlet of the Indian Coffee House.
The Bengal BJP headquarters at Muralidhar Sen Lane is located close to College Street.
Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, spokesperson of the BJP’s Delhi unit, told HT that he was having a cup of coffee when followers of the movement misbehaved with the BJP workers accompanying him.
“We were having coffee when they stormed at us. This is unacceptable in a civilised society,” he said on Tuesday night. Bagga also tweeted photos.
The activists, on the other hand, alleged in a statement and numerous messages on the social media that the BJP activists had come to the Coffee House wearing T-shirts with party symbols and tore posters put up by the anti-BJP campaigners. The activists have already held a rally in Kolkata and several more in the districts.
When told that activists of the “No Vote for BJP” campaign have said they would stage an agitation outside the state BJP headquarters, Bagga said, “In a democratic country, all people have the freedom to express their opinion. They are welcome.”
Bengal BJP leaders remained silent on the incident.
Incidentally, the CPI-ML (Liberation), which is contesting some assembly seats in Bengal in the upcoming polls after its success in the Bihar elections, has said that Bengal’s Left parties, headed by the CPI(M), should consider the BJP its first political enemy. This has been opposed by the CPI(M) which says the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress should both be opposed and treated as enemies of democracy.