Union Minister's convoy allegedly attacked in West Bengal
V Muraleedharan, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, today alleged that his convoy was attacked by some supporters of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress party (TMC) during his visit to the state. The incident has invited sharp reactions from leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Notably, several incidents of post-poll violence have come to the fore from the state.
Cutting short my trip, the BJP leader tweeted
"TMC goons attacked my convoy in West Midnapore, broken windows, attacked personal staff. Cutting short my trip (sic)," Muraleedharan, a BJP leader from Kerala, captioned his Twitter post. The purported video showed the convoy being stopped by a group of men armed with sticks and rods. The windscreen at the back of the vehicle appeared to be broken.
You can watch the video here
'This cannot be the culture of Bengal'
Speaking to reporters, Muraleedharan said, "This cannot be the culture of Bengal. Women are being attacked. This is nothing but goondagardi. Even today my vehicle was targeted. I will give a report to the Centre in this regard," according to The Indian Express.
Nothing but a drama by BJP leaders: TMC leader
However, TMC West Midnapore district president Ajit Maity has denied the allegations, saying it was a "spontaneous protest" by the locals against the BJP. "None of our workers were involved in this. The BJP is trying to create tension in the West Midnapore district. They are trying to provoke people. This is nothing but a drama by BJP leaders," Maity reportedly said.
MHA seeks report from Bengal Governor on post-poll violence
Muraleedharan was in West Bengal to take stock of the post-poll violence that erupted after votes were counted on Sunday. Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Home Affairs had asked West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to submit a report on the law and order situation in the state. The MHA has set up a four-member team to assess the ground situation.
BJP chief says 14 party workers have been killed
BJP chief JP Nadda, who is also in the state on a two-day visit, claimed that 14 BJP workers have been killed in post-poll violence and thousands have fled their homes. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, claimed that two of her party's members were beaten to death. "I appeal to all political parties to maintain peace. Bengal does not like violence."
Banerjee's party won 213 of 292 seats
Elections in West Bengal were held over the past few weeks. Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress party, which has already been in power for a decade, marked a landslide victory. It won 213 of the 292 Assembly seats while the BJP finished second by bagging 77 seats.