Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress party office was ransacked and vehicles ferrying BJP workers were set on fire in clashes that broke out following a rally by BJP chief Amit Shah at Kanthi in East Midnapore district of West Bengal, Tuesday, the parties claimed. It later on led to an angry exchange of words between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Sources in the two parties said three people were injured in the clashes. No confirmation was available from the police in this regard.
The BJP alleged that the buses in which the party workers were returning from Shah’s rally were ransacked and set on fire allegedly by TMC activists.
The TMC, on the other hand, claimed that BJP workers had attacked a local TMC party office in Kanthi and vandalised it. Irked TMC supporters then retaliated and clashes broke out, they said.
“When our supporters were returning from Amit Shah’s rally they were attacked by TMC activists. This is a shame. We condemn it,” BJP’s president in West Bengal Dilip Ghosh said.
Senior TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari claimed that the BJP was trying to disturb peace and stability in the district.
“BJP workers attacked our party offices and this led to retaliation by our workers. If our party office is attacked are we going to offer sweets?” Adhikari shot back.
Shah earlier, addressing the rally, launched a scathing attack on the TMC government and vowed to uproot it.
Later in the evening Singh called up Banerjee and expressed serious concern regarding the clashes between supporters of the two parties. He asked the state government to file a report within the next 24 hours.
Sources said that in response to Singh’s allegation, the West Bengal Chief Minister lashed out, “Please control your party leaders and workers. They are provoking violence in peaceful West Bengal.”