A day after suffering a foot injury after being allegedly “pushed against her car by four-five people” during campaigning in Nandigram on Wednesday, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, her left foot in a cast, put out a video message from a Kolkata hospital in which she assured her “party workers, brothers and sisters” that she would hit the campaign trail in a wheelchair, if needed.
Trinamool sought to link the “major security lapse” in Nandigram to the removal of “competent police officers” by the Election Commission.The poll panel has deputed its special observer Ajay Nayek and special police observer Vivek Dubey to visit Nandigram on Friday for an independent on-the-spot probe. The preliminary report sent to DGP P Nirajnayan by the district administration on Thursday mentions “crowd-control lapses”.
Mamata hurt her left foot during campaigning at Nandigram’s Birulia and was rushed to Kolkata’s SSKM Hospital, where a team of doctors on Thursday diagnosed it as “a bone injury” but ruled out a fracture. The CM also has a low sodium count, they said. Mamata spent the day with her left foot in a cast. There is a possibility that she would be able to go home in "two-three days", her doctors said.
The CM said as much in her video message. "I will be back in the next two or three days. There will be a problem with my leg, and so I may have to use a wheelchair, but I will manage. I was hurt badly. There is a leg injury, there is a ligament injury. I felt head and chest pain. I was standing on the footboard, greeting people. There was a push. The door slammed on my leg. It hit me," she recounted.
Trinamool secretary general Chatterjee and Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien pointed out in a letter to the state CEO that the incident happened within 24 hours of the EC removing Virendra from the DGP's post. "The Bengal BJP put out a post showing an injured Mamata Banerjee on March 8. The EC removed the state DGP on the same day," O’Brien said, trying to build a "conspiracy" case and highlight the poll panel's alleged failure to ensure proper security for the "country’s only woman CM".
Trinamool MP Saugata Roy said the party wanted the EC "to institute an impartial inquiry". Minister Firhad Hakim wondered why the EC was "dragging its feet" now when the Union home ministry had been so proactive in acting against three IPS officers after BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked on its way to Diamond Harbour last December.
BJP's Sisir Bajoria's counter to that was why the police hadn't been able to identify the culprits even 24 hours since Mamata was allegedly pushed. "Z-category security comprises three rings...This is a serious breach. Where was the ambulance that should have been trailing the CM’s convoy?" he said, pointing out the "many loose ends" in Trinamool's version.