BJP protests against violence in Kolkata during Amit Shah rally

Hits out at Bengal CM for allegedly ‘throttling democracy’

May 16, 2019 01:33 am | Updated 01:33 am IST - New Delhi

BJP leaders during a silent protest at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday against the alleged attack on party chief Amit Shah’s rally in Kolkata.

BJP leaders during a silent protest at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday against the alleged attack on party chief Amit Shah’s rally in Kolkata.

The BJP on Wednesday staged a silent protest at the Jantar Mantar here to condemn the violence and alleged attack on party president Amit Shah’s convoy in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Jitendra Singh, Vijay Goel and Dr. Harsh Vardhan who participated in the protest hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly “throttling democracy” in the State citing Tuesday’s events.

“Yesterday [May 14], our national president’s [Mr. Shah’s] rally was hit by violence, but if it wasn’t for the CRPF, our party president would not have come back safe,” Ms. Sitharaman told reporters. “I think the forthcoming defeat has left the CM of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, completely rattled and she has been provoking her cadre to indulge in violence,” she said.

‘Total lies’

The Defence Minister alleged that Trinamool workers vandalised the statue of reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar inside a college campus.

She accused Ms. Banerjee of trying to shift the blame to BJP workers, saying “total lies” were being spread.

The Minister further alleged that democracy was under “threat” in the State and blamed the CM for it. She also referred to the arrest of BJP youth wing activist Priyanka Sharma for sharing a meme.

Mr. Singh claimed that the violence was a conspiracy to put hurdles in the BJP’s “peaceful” campaign.

“What kind of a democracy will we allow to flourish in our country? One riddled with violence or oppression or one without oppression and violence,” he asked.

“A democracy cannot flourish if it is not free of violence. Our party president has called on people to exercise their right through ballot boxes and ensure a peaceful democracy flourishes in the State.”

Dr. Harsh Vardhan urged the Supreme Court, the Election Commission and the President to dismiss Ms. Banerjee’s government.

“They [Trinamool] are using their administration to indulge in hooliganism. Sometimes, she [Banerjee] doesn’t allow the helicopter to hand, sometimes they remove posters and BJP workers are being murdered. No proof is needed for it,” he said.

“West Bengal was known as the land of scientists and intellectuals, but its name has been ruined in the world now,” he added.

Mr. Goel, who organised the protest, said Ms. Banerjee wanted to “throttle democracy” and was “scared of the popularity” of the PM.

“The BJP will fight against this. She is backed by those elements who were backing the communists earlier. The more she does this, the more support BJP will get from the people. We will fight this oppression,” he added.

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