Lucknow, May 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over violence during Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata. Addressing a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh's Mau, PM Narendra Modi accused Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) of indulging in hooliganism. He said one he had to cut short his speech because of hooliganism by TMC goons.
"Some months back during my rally in West Medinipur, TMC goons indulged in hooliganism. After this, in Thakurnagar the situation was such that I had to cut short my speech and was forced to leave the stage. We saw hooliganism by TMC workers again during Bhai Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata," said PM Modi. Amit Shah Roadshow Violence: TMC Blames BJP For Damage to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's Bust.
Blaming TMC for damaging a bust of iconic 19th-century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar installed at Vidyasagar College, the prime minister also promised to install a grand statue of Vidyasagar at the same spot. "They (TMC) vandalized Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's statue. We are committed to Vidyasagar's vision and will install his grand statue at the same spot," PM Modi said.
The prime minister also attacked Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati for supporting Mamata Banerjee. "I had thought the way Mamata didi is targeting UP-Bihar Purvanchal people, calling them outsiders for her politics, Behen Mayawati will surely slam Mamata Didi. But this did not happen," PM Modi said.
Extending support to Banerjee, Mayawati earlier today charged that the West Bengal chief minister is being targeted as part of a conspiracy to divert attention from failures of the Modi government. The Election Commission curtailed campaigning in West Bengal under pressure of the central government, she further charged.
Clashes broke out between the members of TMC students' union and BJP supporters, who participated in Shah's roadshow, outside the Calcutta University campus and the Vidyasagar College. Three bikes were set ablaze and a few people from both sides sustained injuries. A group of saffron party activists allegedly resorted to vandalism inside the Vidyasagar College campus and destroyed a bust of Vidyasagar.
In view of clashes, the Election Commission on Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 PM on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline.