Kolkata/New Delhi/Bhubaneshwar: From Kolkata to New Delhi to Bhubaneshwar, Trinamool Congress MPs, leaders and workers held protests against arrest of their MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay as alleged workers of West Bengal's ruling party attacked BJP offices, hurling bombs and setting them on fire.
Furious over the arrest of Bandyopadhyay on Tuesday, TMC leader in the Lok Sabha and a close Mamata Banerjee aide, party workers also demonstrated in front of CBI offices in Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar, where the MP was taken for production in a court after his arrest.
A BJP delegation met West Bengal Governor K. N. Tripathi and petitioned him for imposition of President's rule in the state due to deteriorating law and order situation.
TMC MPs attempted a protest march to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence in the national capital but were detained mid way.
"We are protesting against Bandyopadhyay's arrest, demanding Modi's resignation and inquiry into his taking money from Birla and Sahara groups. We are also demanding Babul Supriyo (Union Minister) for his involvement in the Rose Valley scam case," TMC MP Sugata Roy told reporters at Tughlak Road police station where they were under detention. "We were marching peacefully towards the Prime Minister's residence, but the police detained us mid-way and manhandled few of our MPs," Roy said, adding 36 TMC MPs took part in the protest march. They were let off in the evening. Bandyopadhyay, TMC's face in New Delhi, was the second party MP after actor-turned-politician Tapas Pal to be held in connection with the alleged Rs15,000 crore chit fund scam which spanned several states including West Bengal and Odisha.
Hours after alleged TMC workers vandalised the state BJP headquarters in downtown Kolkata on Tuesday evening, they attacked the house of state party general secretary Krishna Bhattacharya in Hooghly district.
Three men with their faces covered came on a motorcycle to her house in Konnanagar Jorapukur Ghat at 9 on Tuesday night and started hurling bombs, Bhattacharya said.
They barged into the house, abused her, smashed a windowpane, damaged furniture and assaulted her, Bhattacharya said in her police complaint. In another incident at Chinsurah in Hooghly district, alleged TMC workers set on fire a BJP office. A police officer said some miscreants set ablaze the Chinsurah Mandal office of the BJP this evening after beating up two party workers and chasing them away.
"Our party offices have been ransacked throughout the state. Bombs have been hurled at homes of various party leaders. The police is just a mute spectator," BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said. BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya held out a veiled threat to TMC to "mend its ways or face consequences" and wondered if Mamata Banerjee and her MPs would be able to go around the country or enter New Delhi if his party began a protest against them.
"We may not be as strong as TMC in Bengal. But in the entire country we are the strongest political force. I wonder if BJP workers in Delhi decide that TMC MPs would not be allowed to enter Delhi, would they be able to enter Delhi? "The answer is no. If BJP workers decide to protest across the country, would Mamata Banerjee be able to roam the country freely? If TMC doesn't mend its ways, we will also not sit silently," Vijyavargiya, who is also BJP observer in-charge of West Bengal, told reporters in Kolkata.