TMC workers block roads across Bengal, showdown with BJP escalates
Trinamool Congress leaders and supporters began blocking major roads at different points across West Bengal Wednesday morning as they resumed their agitation following the arrest of Sudip Bandyopadhyay, the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha.india Updated: Jan 04, 2017 12:10 IST
Trinamool Congress leaders and supporters began blocking major roads at different points across West Bengal Wednesday morning as they resumed their agitation following the arrest of Sudip Bandyopadhyay, the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha.
Bandyopadhyay was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged role in the Rose Valley ponzi scam.
There were also reports of BJP party offices being demolished in two areas -- Canning in South 24 Parganas and Durgapur in Burdwan districts.
The situation may become tense during the day as BJP supporters are also expected to take to the streets at different places to protest the attack on its state head office on Tuesday. However, there were no reports of fresh clashes between BJP and Trinamool supporters on Wednesday morning.
Asansol municipal corporation authorities decided to pull down all hoardings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that adorn the petrol pumps in the area under the civic body.
Some of the points where roads were blocked were Danton on NH60 in East Midnapore district, Dankuni on NH2 in Hooghly district and near the Bengal-Jharkhand boder at Asansol and Andal in Burdwan district.
Roads connecting Bengal and Odisha were blocked at Nayagram in West Midnapore district. Hundreds of ruling party supporters stood on the road with party flags and shouted slogans against the Prime Minister, BJP and CBI.
In Kolkata, BJP leaders including state president Dilip Ghosh and Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly are supposed to meet the governor at 1 pm on Wednesday.
“I want to ask Sonia Gandhi that it was your party’s MLA Abdul Mannan who went to Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe in the chit fund scam. Now CBI is working and doing its best. Then why are you siding with Trinamool Congress?” remarked Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP’s national general secretary and observer for Bengal in Kolkata.
“The notebandi happened two months ago, and CBI started investigating the chit fund scam in 2014. Why is Mamata Banerjee linking the two?” the BJP leader asked.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday evening that her party workers would organise protests not only in Bengal, but also in Delhi, Bhubaneswar (where Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul are being interrogated) Tripura, Manipur and a few other states.
“Late Tuesday night, a few goons backed by the ruling party ransacked our party office near the MAMC at Bharati crossing in Durgapur. They burnt flags and smashed furniture,” alleged Amitava Banerjee, BJP leader of the steel city.
A large number of vehicles carrying goods and passengers were held up at each point due to the obstructions.
A number of protest rallies are scheduled to take place in Kolkata on Wednesday where power minister Sovandeb Chatterjee, urban development minister Firhad Hakim will be among those present. There are also plans to take out a procession where effigies of the Prime Minister may be taken out and ruling party supporters may perform his ‘last rites’.
“The blockade started at 10 AM at the five point crossing at Dankuni that leads to NH2 connecting Kolkata with Delhi. Within minutes the crowd swelled from a handful to a few hundred and entire traffic at this arterial road came to a standstill,” said Parimal Acharya who travels from Dankuni to Kolkata everyday.
Trinamool MLA in East Midnapore district Akhil Giri went to Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. “We will organise a protest rally in Bhubaneswar on January 10,” Giri told HT.
Local MLA Ujjwal Chatterjee led the road blockade near the Benga-Jharkhand border in Burdwan district.
Ruling party supporters are also scheduled to organise protest rallies in all wards of Kolkata municipal corporation.