TMC, BJP Youth Morcha supporters lock horns in city
Kolkata: Girish Park and its adjoining areas in North and Central Kolkata turned into a war zone on Friday morning, with Trinamool Congress and BJP Youth Morcha supporters clashing at least four times, within 500 metres of Swami Vivekananda's ancestral home on his birthday.
According to police sources, tension was building up since Thursday night when BJP supporters reached Binani Bhavan at Pathuriaghat Street for their bike rally on Friday.
"They were foul mouthing some women folk while organising their bike rally. The BJP supporters were armed with sticks and as they marched, they ransacked some vehicles that were standing on the road. Some of our men who were peacefully celebrating Vivekananda's birth anniversary, were attacked by them," said Shashi Panja, minister of state for Women & Child Welfare.
The BJP supporters allegedly also entered a trading-cum-residential building located opposite the ceremony house and vandalised furniture. Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee lashed out at the BJP, terming their act as a desperate bid to hit the headlines. "State BJP leaders are desperate to hit the headlines. It is unfortunate that they chose Swami Vivekananda's birthday for this political drama," Chatterjee said.
A senior BJP leader, however, alleged that some Trinamool goons attacked BJP supporters who were sitting in front of a tea stall at Binani Bhaban before going for the rally.
A few hours after the clash, the BJP leadership in the state informed that Union minister Nitin Gadkari has cancelled his visit to the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) on January 16 and 17 in the wake of the incident.
Responding to Gadkari's decision, Chatterjee said: "The BGBS is being organised by the state government. Nitin Gadkari is a Union minister. Politics shouldn't have come in the way of relations between governments."