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BJP workers injured during Bengal rural poll nomination phase to meet President

Bengal BJP leaders want the victims to narrate their tales to the President directly.

kolkata Updated: Apr 25, 2018 13:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
BJP,Trinamool Congress,Mamata Banerjee
The meeting with the President is supposed to take place at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday.(HT Photo)

A team of about 40 persons, who were injured and not allowed to file nomination for the rural elections in Bengal is expected to meet President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday.

“They will narrate how they have faced atrocities at the hands of ruling Trinamool Congress supporters. There are injured people from different districts of Bengal,” said Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary and immediate past president of the party’s Bengal unit.

Read: Clashes mar Bengal rural poll nominations; Opposition considers moving court

The team has left for Delhi from Kolkata by train and is expected to reach the capital by Wednesday night.

Leaders from BJP’s Bengal unit such as Mukul Roy, who is in charge of the rural polls, Rahul Sinha, national secretary and Samik Bhattacharya, former MLA will accompany the team members to meet the President.

Over the past few days, the war of words between BJP and Trinamool Congress leaders in Bengal reached new heights. During a press conference on April 23, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh remarked that Bengal is approaching a state where they could demand President’s rule.

Read: Scribes covering Bengal rural poll nominations attacked in Kolkata, districts

“The situation in Bengal is fast approaching a state where we will be forced to demand imposition of President’s rule,” said Ghosh.

Since nomination for the rural polls began on April 2, opposition parties without exception have alleged that ruling party supporters have unleashed violence from the very first hour to prevent their candidates from submitting nomination papers.

A total of seven persons lost their lives and hundreds injured during the nomination phase that took place on April 2 to 9 and April 23.

Read: TMC virtually unopposed in zilla parishad, nominations for Bengal rural polls extended

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, however, has claimed that the nomination phase has been peaceful. “There are 58,000 booths in the state and there has been trouble only in seven. BJP was the trouble maker in all cases except one, where CPI(M) was the mischief maker,” she said on Tuesday.

The rural polls in the state are crucial since it is the last pan-Bengal exercise that will indicate the support base for each party before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP is targeting to win at least 22 of the 44 seats in the state -- currently it has two -- while ruling Trinamool Congress is determined to protect its grip on the state even as Mamata Banerjee is aspiring to cobble together an anti-BJP front with regional parties across the country.

Read: Bhangar agitators file nominations through WhatsApp in face of ‘TMC intimidation’

BJP leaders such as Dilip Ghosh, Rahul Sinha, Mukul Roy have already met Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi a few times with complaints against the ruling party during the nomination process of the Bengal rural elections.

Trinamool leaders including chief minister Mamata Banerjee have criticised them for rushing to the governor on the slightest pretext. Party secretary general Partha Chatterjee earlier alleged that the governor has lost credibility by acting in a partisan manner.

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 13:11 IST