Home Minister Amit Shah today ordered an investigation into an attack on BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy in West Bengal and asked the Governor for a detailed report on law and order in the state. The home ministry called for two reports from the Bengal administration in a matter of 12 hours as the BJP alleged that the state had slipped into complete lawlessness and anarchy.
The BJP chief’s convoy came under attack, allegedly from supporters of Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress, around 60 km from state capital Kolkata. Mr Nadda was on his way to a meeting of party workers in Diamond Harbour, which is the parliamentary constituency of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
Dramatic videos online showed rocks smashing windscreens and windows as cars made their way through a violent crowd. Trinamool supporters thumped the cars and used stones, sticks and rods in their attack, according to the BJP.
“If I have reached here for the meeting, it’s due to Ma Durga’s grace,” said Mr Nadda. The BJP has launched protests across the state.
Mr Nadda said he was unhurt because he was travelling in a bullet proof car but other BJP leaders, Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy, were injured. Some journalists were pushed and manhandled, according to PTI.
Mamata Banerjee claimed the attack was staged and accused the BJP of resorting to “drama” to malign her government ahead of assembly polls next year.
“BJP is creating a new Hindu dharma. It is a hateful dharma. 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?”
She said there would be a police inquiry but questioned if there was a provocation or a conspiracy. She also said the BJP had not asked for security for Mr Nadda, who has Z-category protection.
Her nephew and Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee told a rally: “If the people don’t like the BJP, what can we do?”
The attack comes a day after Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh wrote to the Home Minister raising concerns about Mr Nadda’s security after he was shown black flags in Kolkata yesterday.
Several union ministers and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar condemned the incident.
“Bengal has descended into an era of tyranny, anarchy and darkness under the Trinamool rule. The manner in which political violence has been institutionalized and brought to the extreme in West Bengal under TMC (Trinamool) rule is sad and worrying,” Amit Shah tweeted.
The Home Minister added: “The central government is taking this attack very seriously. The Bengal government will have to answer to the peace-loving people of the state for this sponsored violence.”