KOLKATA: Clashes broke out between BJP workers and police personnel in Kolkata on Wednesday during a massive rally organised by the party in protest against post-poll violence and alleged attacks on its workers and supporters, report Indian news agencies.
Hundreds of BJP activists, along with 18 newly elected MPs in the state marched towards Lalbazar, the Kolkata.Police headquarters from the Wellington area of the city, only to be stunted midway by the police force who fired water cannons and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob.
Bengal’s BJP minder Kailash Vijayvargiya and senior party leader Mukul Roy also joined the march.
The agitators started the rally from central Kolkata’s Subodh Mullick Square and broke a barricade at Ganesh Chandra Avenue, close to 200 meters from entry gate of Lalbazar. The police fired two water cannons to disperse them. BJP top brass claimed that the protest march saw the participation of nearly one lakh supporters. Nearly 50,000 workers were arrested, and later released.
“There is complete break-down of law and order in the state. The opposition party, particularly the BJP workers, are being attacked every day. Opposition voices are being throttled here,” Dilip Ghosh, MP and President of the BJP’s state unit said.
According to Ghosh, “a peaceful protest rally” was attacked upon. Water canons and tear gas shells were lobbed without any warning.
“MPs, police officers and even doctors do not feel secure here. Mamata Banerjee has no right to rule the state any more,” he added before calling off the protest march.Two years ago, the BJP had organised a similar march to the Kolkata Police Headquarters which resulted in clashes.
According to Kailash Vijayvargiya, senior BJP leader in-charge of West Bengal, the mandate of the people is with BJP.
“People will overthrow this Mamata Banerjee government very soon,” he said.