KOLKATA/NANDIGRAM, March 11: She lay on a hospital bed, her left foot in plaster cast strung to an iron stand, but an “immobilised” Mamata Banerjee on Thursday had West Bengal in ferment as supporters of her ruling TMC and rival BJP clashed over the alleged attack on her at Nandigram the day before.
The BJP demanded a CBI inquiry over the alleged assault to ascertain if the incident was “staged”, while a high-level TMC delegation met the Chief Electoral Officer of the State and insisted the Election Commission cannot absolve itself of culpability.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered at Nandigram over the alleged attack under IPC Sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), a senior police officer of the Purba Medinipur district said.
Banerjee, admitted to Kolkata’s SSKM Hospital following the incident, is “stable” but has pain in her injured leg, frontal head, and also has low sodium concentration in blood. The doctors, however, insisted that the 66-year-old leader will not require a surgery.
Enraged over the alleged assault on their leader in Nandigram, where she is crossing swords with her former aide Suvendu Adhikari of BJP, Trinamool Congress workers took out protest rallies in several districts, including parts of Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Howrah, Birbhum, South 24 Parganas and Jalpaiguri.
A scuffle broke out between the Trinamool Congress activists and a group of BJP workers in the Birulia area this morning but the situation was soon brought under control, police said.
Meanwhile, a TMC delegation met the Chief Electoral Officer and blamed the Election Commission for the fiasco. It insisted that giving protection to Banerjee was the EC’s responsibility since the law and order machinery got arrogated to the central poll panel once a State Assembly poll has been announced.
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh demanded a CBI probe in the incident, saying it needs to be seen whether the incident was a “well-scripted drama” to garner sympathy votes. “It needs to be probed what actually happened. How a Z-Plus protectee gets attacked is a matter that has to be looked into. The State should order a CBI probe to bring out the truth,” he said.
The TMC, meanwhile, postponed the release of its election manifesto, scheduled for Thursday. – PTI