Tensions between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers escalated in Kolkata on Tuesday after posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were reportedly taken down by the Kolkata Police ahead of Shah's rally in the city. BJP workers alleged that the Mamata Banerjee-led party was trying to "sabotage" Shah's rally.
Reportedly, the posters were taken down by the police because they had not granted the party permission to put them up. However, visuals of the agitated party supporters showed them trying to reinstall the posters on the important thoroughfare of the city. BJP vice-president for Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya and leader Rahul Sinha allegedly had a war of words with city police over this, CNN-News18 reported.
#ElectionBreaking – Battle for Bengal. @AITCofficial Vs @BJP4India war escalates. TMC workers remove @narendramodi, @AmitShah posters. #ElectionsWithNews18 #LokSabhaElections2019 #BattleOf2019 | CNN-News18’s @Sougata_Mukh with more details pic.twitter.com/HPHM1iWHB5
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 14, 2019
The tense situation comes ahead of Shah's rally, which was already a bone of contention between the two parties after the state administration denied the BJP chief permission to land his helicopter for a rally in Jadavpur on Monday. BJP leader Smriti Irani was also scheduled to address a rally in the city on Tuesday, and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to hold a public meeting in the city on Wednesday.
The saffron party accused the Election Commission of having become a "mute spectator" to the TMC's alleged undemocratic means to target the BJP. The tension between the two parties is at an all-time high, with every one of the six phases of the polls witnessing violent clashes between workers of the two parties in Bengal. On Monday, TMC leader and Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien called Shah a "low-life" who "insulted" the state with his "kangal Bangla" remark.
Addressing an election rally in Canning, Shah had targeted Mamata and said, "We will restore the glory of Bengal. Mamata Banerjee has turned 'shonar' (golden) Bangla into 'kangal' (pauper) Bangla. She is only interested in protecting infiltrators to secure her vote bank. But her vote bank won't be able to save her from imminent defeat."
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Updated Date: May 14, 2019 15:58:19 IST