West Bengal: BJP workers ransack party office in Malda, demand candidate change
In a video clip posted by news agency ANI today, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers were seen vandalising their party office at Malda in West Bengal, demanding a change of candidate from the assembly constituency in the upcoming elections.
The party workers could be heard raising 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Vande Mataram' slogans as they threw around and demolished office furniture, including several chairs and a table. Near the end of the clip, one of the party workers was seen trying to stop another from continuing the destruction of property. Meanwhile, most bystanders at the spot seemed to offer no resistance.
According to ANI, the aggrieved workers sought to change the candidate that the BJP had assigned for contesting the upcoming state assembly polls from Malda.
A day ago, the party had released its list of candidates for the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth phases of the elections, where Gopal Chand Saha was named as the BJP candidate from the Maldaha assembly constituency. The ticket for Harishchandrapur, another assembly segment in the district, went to Matiur Rahman, who had recently switched camps from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) to the BJP.
Congress has a prominent influence in the district, judging by the fact that seven of Malda's 12 seats were won by the party's candidates in the 2016 assembly elections.
To prepare for the electoral stage this time, the BJP had rolled out its heavy artillery and sent Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to campaign for the saffron camp in Malda two weeks ago.
However, the party's workers have been expressing their displeasure across the state ever since the list of candidates was unveiled. Many of them clashed with the police earlier this week outside the party's Hastings office in Kolkata. Activists also vandalised party offices, harassed central leaders, and blocked roads by burning tyres at several places in the state, according to news agency PTI.
Elections to the 294-member state assembly will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.