West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party on Friday renewed a push to counter the fallout of the attack on BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy in the state a day ago, accusing his party of making false claims and one of his subordinates of triggering the violence.
“BJP leader Rakesh Singh was in a convoy in front of him (Mr Nadda). He has 59 criminal cases against him and he made provocative gestures at the crowd. An FIR (First Information Report) has been registered against him and seven people have been arrested,” Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee told the media.
He also sought to downplay the violence, saying, “There was some trouble only for 10-15 minutes at Sirakol. There was no trouble at Diamond Harbour.”
Describing a central meeting called in Delhi on Monday, with summons to the Bengal chief secretary and police chief, to discuss the law and order situation in Bengal as “totally unconstitutional”, Mr Banerjee reminded, “Law and order is a state subject and the state had given security to JP Nadda.”
The widening row over the attack on Mr Nadda’s convoy on Thursday has opened a new front in the bitter feud between West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP ahead of state elections due next year.
The BJP chief’s convoy was attacked with bricks, stones and sticks near Kolkata. Some leaders were injured and cars were damaged in the incident, which the BJP has blamed on supporters of the Trinamool Congress.
The incident took place at Diamond Harbour, the parliamentary constituency of the Chief Minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
Video clips showed rocks smashing through windscreens and windows as the cars moved on a crowded road in Diamond Harbour, around 60 km from Kolkata. The BJP said its leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy were injured.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, representative of the BJP-led government at the centre, has also amped up his permanent war with the Trinamool government after the incident, chastising the party in media briefings and public missives to the centre.