BJP supporters led by its top leaders protested in Kolkata against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government over the current situation of law-and-order in the state yesterday. Party workers tried to march to police headquarters Lalbazar to submit deputation demanding the arrest of corrupt TMC leaders. Police resorted to a lathi charge and used tear gas shells, water cannons to disperse the crowd. This comes after the municipal polls held on May 14. While BJP is trying to emerge as the principal opposition party in the state, the traditional powerhouse in Bengal the Left, also hogged the limelight when it and its affiliated peasant organizations held a protest against the ruling dispensation earlier this week. Local media, which noted the BJP’s rise in the state, now dubbed the protest as softer in nature in comparison to Left one.
Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika says if a comparison is drawn between Left’s ‘Chalo Nabanno’ (march towards state secretariat) protest and BJP’s ‘Lalbazar Abhiyan’, the former will be ahead in terms of intensity and size of the crowd. According to commoners’ narrative, Left activists were far more aggressive, the report says.
Watch this video
Another regional newspaper Ei Samay has termed the protest as a flop show. An article has criticized the manner in which BJP leaders surrendered before the police. It says BJP activists lacked that fighting spirit which was seen in Left supporters during their protest.
Over 20 police personnel were injured in the violence and 141 BJP workers arrested including 21 who tried to enter the city police headquarters, Supratim Sarkar Joint Commissioner of Police (HQ) said. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, state chief Dilip Ghosh, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha, party Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly and state secretary Locket Chatterjee were among those arrested during the protest-agitation, he said.
A BJP delegation met Governor K N Tripathi to apprise him of the police action against the partymen during the programme. After meeting the Governor, BJP leader Shamik Bhattacharya alleged that the police along with TMC activists had beaten up his partymen. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha demanded a judicial inquiry into the police action against them.