The incident that traumatised West Bengal on Tuesday continued to dominate air waves through out the day on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blaming each other for ransacking a hall of a north Kolkata college and damaging the bust of 19th century educationist and social reformer Ishwar Chandra Bandopadhyay, known by the title Vidyasagar.
Mr. Modi held the Trinamool Congress responsible for the incident that occurred during Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah’s roadshow, while Ms. Banerjee described it as “a planted criminal conspiracy”.
The Trinamool and various civil society groups took out rallies protesting against the attacks on the educational institution and on Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Addressing a public rally as part of campaigning for the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency in North 24 Paraganas district, Mr. Modi said that Ms. Banerjee had publicly announced that she would seek revenge against the BJP “inch by inch”.
“Within 24 hours of the announcement, BJP president Amit Shah was attacked in Kolkata. His roadshow was attacked and there was an attempt to threaten him,” the PM said. In another rally in Diamond Harbour, Mr. Modi said that Mr. Shah “was attacked by Trinamool’s goons with fireballs”, but the “brave people of Bengal protected him”.
Mr. Modi also said that the students of the college had themselves punctured holes in the claims, and that the BJP would not be “scared of threats and abuses” by Ms. Banerjee.
Huge shame: CM
Ms. Banerjee retaliated using equally strong words arguing that men broke away from Mr. Shah’s rally to attack the college.
“The moment the rally came to an end, the hooligans of the BJP came out of it with rods and fire and set the college on fire. They damaged the bust of Vidyasagar and this is a matter of huge shame for Bengal,” she said.
“Bangla’s culture, tradition and its people are under attack. Those who carry out such acts after bringing in goondas from outside, what can you call them,” the Chief Minister alleged.