BJP President Amit Shah’s road show in Kolkata on Tuesday saw large-scale violence after his supporters clashed with Trinamool Congress workers. Videos of BJP workers protesting with burnt motorcylces in the background have gone viral on social media. The violence also led to the statue of noted Bengali philosopher Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue being vandalised.
Images of the statue of the icon of Bengal’s Renaissance being smashed to smithereens are being widely circulated. In the evening, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had visited the Vidyasagar College, where violent clashes broke out between BJP and TMC workers during Shah’s road show.
In some videos, the Kolkata Police personnel were seen trying to douse the fire with buckets filled with water.
Speaking about the incident, Shah told a TV channel that there was an attempt by TMC ‘hooligans to attack’ him. “Mamata Banerjee tried to provoke violence. But I am safe,” he said.
Lashing out at Shah, Banerjee called the BJP president a goon adding that she hated his party’s ideology. Addressing a rally in Behala in Kolkata, according to news agency PTI, Banerjee said, “If you lay your hands on Vidyasagar, what will I call you other than a goonda…I hate your ideology, I hate your ways.”
See to believe.
Bjp hired goons vandalised Iswor Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue.
And you think any self respecting bengali will forgive BJP for this? pic.twitter.com/oGpCccbFDi
— Truth of West Bengal (@Truth_of_WB) May 14, 2019
Her party has called for a protest on Wednesday against the vandalisation of the bust of Vidyasagar. Banerjee said, “Extremely unfortunate incident. The BJP is desperate. They do not even respect our icons. How could they vandalise the bust of Vidyasagar? We will hold a protest rally tomorrow.”
Banerjee urged people to vote against the BJP saying that each vote against the saffron party will be a revenge on the attack on Vidyasagar.
Banerjee said that Shah had hired goons from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to cause trouble in Kolkata. “This has been widely reported by Bengali channels. National channels haven’t shown this because they are pimps. Leave them alone,” she said.