Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today questioned why the BJP, with all the central forces at its disposal, could not protect its party chief during his visit to Bengal and wondered if the attack on JP Nadda could have been “planned”. It could also be the result of public anger after an accident. “If there was a small incident — I don’t know if there was one. But at a tea shop, one of the 50 cars in your convoy may have hit someone, or something was thrown or it was planned. The police will probe. We will not tolerate all your lies. Enough is enough,” Ms Banerjee said.
The attack on Mr Nadda’s convoy — allegedly by supporters of Ms Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress — took place around noon today when he was on his way to Diamond Harbour, the constituency of Trinamool MP and Ms Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
In the uproar, BJP leaders are pointing fingers at the law and order situation in Bengal and at its ruling party. Mr Nadda’s predecessor in the BJP, Union Minister Amit Shah, has ordered a probe into the security lapse of a Z-Plus category leader. Mr Dilip Ghosh, BJP Bengal chief, wrote to Mr Shah just yesterday about Mr Nadda’s security after he was shown black flags in Kolkata.
“You have so many CISF-BSF commandos. Then how can they touch your car? What about your people who go around with shot guns,” Ms Banerjee asked, referring to the death of a BJP worker from injures from a shotgun. Police have denied using that variety of firearm.
The BJP, Ms Banerjee said, is creating a new drama. “It is a hateful drama. This is how Hitler became who he was. Narendra Modi babu’s sarkar only creates drama, creates its own incident and presents in video, circulates to media and media can’t say anything or question them. Nautanki is going on. They will say Pakistan is attacking us, Nepal, Israel,” said the Chief Minister.
“Every day they (BJP activists) are coming out (for rallies) with firearms. They are slapping themselves and blaming it on the Trinamool Congress. Just think of the situation. They are roaming around with the BSF, CRPF, Army, CISF….then why are you so scared?”
The Bengal government has said that it has received no request to provide security to Mr Nadda. The point was emphasised by Mamata Banerjee. “You don’t inform the state, but when there is a problem, you blame the state,” she said.
She also questioned the size of the convoy and the following media personnel.
“Your leaders are welcome. We are against violence,” the Chief Minister said at a rally at the foot of the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road in central Kolkata. “But why are 50 cars following you around? And bikes and media cars? So who were standing there? Who threw stones? Is it planned? You are so smart, you can use satellite watch everything,” she added.
The BJP, she said, was just being dramatic. “What happens when I go to Delhi? In Delhi, I stay at Derek’s house (party MP Derek O’Brien). Every time BJP people gherao the house, she said.
But in Bengal, “One day the Home Minister, one day some Chief Minister — they show up here. One day Nadda Gadda Chadda comes, they create a drama and claim they got thrashed,” Ms Banerjee said, mockingly adding, “oh poor thing”.
The Chief Minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, in whose constituency the attack took place, said, “”If the people don’t like the BJP, what can we do?”