Other States

Vidyasagar bust vandalism: Trinamool submits ‘proof’ of BJP's 'involvement' to ECI

Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien addresses the media after leading a party delegation that meeting the Chief Election Commissioner at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi on May 15, 2019.

Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien addresses the media after leading a party delegation that meeting the Chief Election Commissioner at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi on May 15, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

There was large-scale violence during BJP president Amit Shah's mega rally in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Intensifying its attack on the BJP over the desecration of a bust of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in a college during BJP president Amit Shah's mega rally in Kolkata on Tuesday, the Trinamool Congress on May 15 released videos to claim that “BJP goons” damaged the statue.

A Trinamool team comprising Derek O’Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Manish Gupta and Nadimul Haque also met the Election Commission over the issue and submitted “proof” in support of their claim.

 

Earlier, at a press conference in New Delhi, Mr. O’Brien said, “The video not only clearly establishes what the BJP did, but proves that its chief Amit Shah is a liar and dhokebaaz (cheat).”

The reaction from the Trinamool came close on the heels of BJP president Amit Shah accusing West Bengal’s ruling party of indulging in violence in the State and alleged that the poll panel has been a “mute spectator“ of the "violence unleashed by the TMC."

“The streets of Kolkata are tinged with shock and anger. What happened yesterday hurt Bengali pride,” O’Brien said, adding the TMC will submit the videos, it has, to the poll panel and is authenticating them on record.

One of the videos shows a group of men purportedly trying to break down the gate of the Vidyasagar college and enter the campus by jumping over its walls.

“It is a childish argument to ask who had the keys to the gate? The video establishes beyond doubt who desecrated the statue,” Mr. O’Brien said, claiming his party had as many as 44 videos to support its claims.

The party also showed a video and WhatsApp message allegedly by a BJP supporter asking people to come to Mr. Shah’s roadshow with rods and arms to fight the TMC and the police.

“We are trying to obtain and authenticate audio of slogans like ‘Vidyasagar finished, where is the Josh’ raised during the violence,” O’Brien said and alleged that the Central forces deployed in West Bengal have started a “whisper campaign” asking people to vote for the BJP.

“The Central forces are in cahoots with the BJP. We had written to the ECI thrice and this will be our fourth letter,” the TMC leader said.

 

He also alleged that Central forces in West Bengal have started a whisper campaign asking people to vote for the BJP.

The supporters of the BJP and the TMC on Tuesday fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during Mr. Shah's rally. He escaped unhurt but was forced to cut short the jamboree and had to be escorted to safety by security forces.

Parts of the city plunged into a welter of violence as his convoy was attacked with stones by alleged TMC supporters from inside the hostel of Vidyasagar College, triggering a clash between supporters of the two parties.

Furious BJP supporters retaliated and were seen exchanging blows with their Trinamool rivals outside the college entrance.

The Trinamool has accused Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain of giving orders to the police not to intervene in BJP issues in the State.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:10:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/trinamool-releases-video-of-vidyasagar-statue-vandalism-blames-bjp/article27135614.ece

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