The BJP-TMC row escalated further on Thursday, 16 May, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi joining state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in ‘appropriating’ Bengali polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
PM Modi, speaking at a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau, blamed TMC workers for the ‘hooliganism’ at Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata, and pledged to install a grand statue of Vidyasagar at the same spot soon.
“We saw hooliganism by TMC workers again during Bhai Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata... they also vandalised Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue. We are committed to Vidyasagar’s vision and will install his grand statue at the same spot,” he said, as per ANI.
“Some months back, during my rally in West Medinipur”, he added, “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.”
The prime minister is scheduled to hold two rallies in West Bengal on Thursday, ahead of the EC’s ban on campaigning – that comes into effect at 10 pm.TMC’s ‘DP Protest’
On Wednesday, Mamata and several top TMC leaders had changed their Facebook and Twitter display pictures (DP) with a photo of Vidyasagar, as a form of protest against the desecration of the bust of the noted reformer and key figure of the Bengal Renaissance.
Trinamool Congress’s official profile on Twitter and Facebook was also changed with a picture of Vidyasagar.
Launching a scathing attack on BJP President Amit Shah, Banerjee had said, "What does Amit Shah think of himself? Is he above everything? Is he god that no one can protest against him?"
Banerjee said this after supporters of the BJP and the TMC fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during a roadshow by Shah.
A college named after Vidyasagar was ransacked and a bust of the 19th Century social reformer shattered, allegedly by BJP workers during the clashes.
The CPI(M) has also called for protest rallies against the incident.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)