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Vidyasagar triggers new turbulence in Bengal politics before poll finale

The exchange of allegations, political rhetoric and personal attacks, touched a new high in Bengal on Wednesday, the penultimate day of campaign for the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections,

lok sabha elections Updated: May 15, 2019 23:45 IST
Tanmay Chatterjee
Tanmay Chatterjee
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Lok Sabha elections 2019,General elections 2019,Election news
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally in support of BJP candidate Nilanjan Roy for Diamond Harbour constituency seat, in South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal, Wednesday, May15, 2019. (PTI)

A day after vandalism at Kolkata’s Vidyasagar College, that claimed a bust of the iconic social reformer Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar during a roadshow of Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, exchange of allegations, political rhetoric and personal attacks, touched a new high.

Addressing a rally, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said, “Tuesday’s rampage was a conspiracy by BJP. They brought in ruffians from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan to create trouble.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed Banerjee in his crosshairs at back to back rallies in Basirhat and Diamond Harbour constituencies. Banerjee’s nephew Abhisek Banerjee is contesting the Diamond harbor seat for the second time.

“Didi’s (Banerjee’s) gundas (ruffians) are out to destroy us with bombs and bullets. The world watched last evening’s images and the nation is discussing it. The world can see to what level she has stooped. Didi announced two days ago that she would take revenge inch by inch. She said it in public. She implemented her agenda and got the road show of Amit Shah attacked. University students are exposing the truth,” said Modi.

“Didi’s administration and ‘gundatantra’ (rule of the ruffians) tried to ruin BJP’s roadshow but Kolkata’s people did not allow it happen. Yesterday you (Banerjee) played a big game. They (TMC supporters) were throwing fireballs but Bengal’s brave youths saved Amit Shah,” Modi added.

Also read: Lok Sabha elections 2019: Bengal campaign to end day earlier, says EC after ‘fear psychosis’ report

The Prime  Minister said he is not someone who can be cowed down.

“You thought Modi would get scared. Modi cannot be scared be so easily. Election survey after the fifth phase shows that BJP will secure absolute majority on its own. Today I am announcing that Bengal will help BJP get more than 300 seats,” said Modi.

He went on to say that Mamata Banerjee’s dreams will be shattered on counting day on May 23.

“On May 23, Didi’s dreams will shatter. It is necessary to teach Didi a lesson. I am saying this standing on your nephew’s home turf. After May 23, your nephew’s offices will be under lock and key,” said Modi.

Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, who addressed two rallies in the state, said, “The administration was silent when the attack took place. I congratulate BJP workers for resisting TMC workers. TMC’s expiry date has been written.”

Communist Party of India general secretary Sitaram Yechury was in Kolkata to take part in a protest rally. “We condemn the despicable act. During Left Front regime there used to be a Vidyasagar Mela (a fair) every two years to create awareness against ostracism and racism that he (Vidyasagar) stood against. The fair was stopped during TMC rule. Today TMC and BJP are trading charges.”

“Security camera footage must be made available for identification and punishment of the culprits. How could a black flag demonstration allowed to turn into a confrontation? What was the police doing? Truth must come out before elections ends so that people may know who to vote for,” said Yechury.

First Published: May 15, 2019 23:45 IST