BJP, TMC workers clash twice, Prez rule demanded in Bengal

Hindu organisations took out a procession with bike and sword on the occasion of Ram Navami from Bhawanipore South Kolkata area in Kolkata India

The scramble between political parties to claim Swami Vivekananda's legacy ended with blood being spilled on the streets of north and central Kolkata on Friday, with Trinamool Congress and BJP supporters clashing at least four times barely 500 metres from the spiritual leader's ancestral home on his 155th birth anniversary.

The attack outside the BJP headquarters prompted the party's West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh to demand President's Rule in the state with he alleging that law and order had gone for a toss.

After the court's ruling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had warned that the BJP would be responsible for any untoward incident that may take place during the Gangasagar Mela. The HC had appointed Datta to oversee the BJP Yuva Morcha motorbike rally after giving its nod. "Our workers were all set to take out our proposed bike rally after getting the Calcutta High Court order", he said. A senior police officer was also injured during the clash.

The BJP had initially made a decision to take out a bike rally across the state from January 11 to 18 as part of its Pratirodh Sankalp Abhiyan. They can organise such rallies later and we have no issue.

Told about the reason given by Gadkari's office for his likely cancellation of the trip, a state BJP politician said: "That's the official reason that Gadkari, as a Union cabinet minister, has to give to the state government".

Denying the charges, Minister Sashi Panja said it was the BJP cadres who assaulted the Trinamool workers. They said this was because he can not inaugurate a road project - his "primary objective" behind the proposed Bengal trip - while the model code of conduct is in place for the January 29 by-elections to the Uluberia (Lok Sabha) and Noapara (Assembly) seats. The second round began after BJP supporters came in hordes to rescue their colleagues. The BJP leadership alleged that the Trinamool had launched a planned attack on their workers staying at a lodge in the area to participate in the rally. Several persons were injured.

The police force was rushed to the spot to control the situation. Another clash occurred near Kalabagan on Central Avenue when Trinamool supporters on MG Road tried to resist the bike brigade. "Only President's Rule can bring back the rule of law in the state", he said. He briefed national president Amit Shah about the incident. The Opposition is not allowed to exercise its rights and is continuously being attacked by ruling party workers. "There should be zero cooperation from the Centre towards the state".

On Friday, the BJP demonstrated before the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road against "Trinamul's state-sponsored terrorism" and handed a memorandum to governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Education minister Partha Chatterjee called the BJP's "hullabaloo" a bid to hit the headlines.

The two parties are engaged in a political slugfest over holding Swami Vivekananda's birthday celebrations. "The BGBS is being organised by the state and Gadkari is a Union minister".

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