BJP Lok Sabha members campaigning at Sumbunath Pandit Steet for the September 30 bypoll at Kolkata’s Bhawanipore seat was disrupted on Monday afternoon when the Trinamool Congress (TMC) employees staged a demonstration, obstructing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) National Vice-President Dilip Ghosh and shouted ‘go back’ slogans.
In response, The BJP decided to move the Election Commission urging it to stop the election in Bhawanipore.
The incident took place at Jadu Babu Bazar where Ghosh was campaigning on foot. BJP worker, Bharat Narayan Singh suffered a minor injury while his associates got into a scuffle with the TMC workers.
The BJP Lok Sabha member and State vice-president Arjun Singh, who was campaigning at Sambhunath pandit street faced similar demonstrations when he approached the location where Ghosh was surrounded. Singh had to leave the spot.
Dilip Ghosh said, “Today’s incident has proved that the situation is not conducive for holding free and fair polls. We will submit a memorandum to the EC urging it to withhold the poll till the law and order situation gets normal. However, we will contest if the EC decides to go ahead with the election.”
The TMC workers also staged a demonstration near a podium, set up by the BJP for a roadside meeting on Ashutosh Mukherjee Road. The leader of the opposition in the assembly, Suvendu Adhikari addressed people from the podium later in the afternoon. “These disruptions are being created to scare voters”, Adhikari stated in his speech.
As many as 80 BJP leaders hit the streets to muster support for party candidate Priyanka Tibrewal on the last day of campaigning. The TMC leaders and ministers also started campaigning early for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who needs to win the bypoll to continue as CM of West Bengal.
“Central armed police forces will not sit silent if incidents like this happen on the day of polling,” said Tibrewal.
However, BJP announced on Sunday that 10 leaders will visit each of these eight civic body wards.
The election commission has sought a report on the trouble in Bhawanipore. The returning officer has also been asked to examine video footage showing Dilip Ghosh’s security personnel pointing pistols at the crowd, the official said on condition of anonymity.
The Kolkata police deployed additional forces in Bhawanipore in the afternoon.