BANGAON: Supporters of the ruling TMC and the BJP clashed and bombs were hurled in front of Bangaon municipality office in West Bengal Tuesday following a dispute over a trust vote for control of the civic body.
There were no immediate reports of any injury or arrest in the incident at Bangaon, which is 80 km from Kolkata and falls in North 24 Parganas district that has been rocked by political violence after the Lok Sabha polls.
Prohibitive orders under Section 144 CrPC were clamped and rapid action force personnel were deployed to maintain peace in the area, police said.
The BJP and the Trinamool Congress blamed each other for the violence which started after two saffron party councillors were allegedly stopped from participating in the voting in the trust vote. The BJP claimed it has wrested the civic body from the TMC, which denied it.
Police said bombs were hurled after a scuffle broke out between members of the two parties in front of the municipality office.
Police patrolling is on in the area and supporters of the rival political parties have been cordoned to avert any further clash, they said.
The BJP claimed that the police had fired tear gas shells and baton-charged its members.
The trust vote was scheduled for Tuesday as the municipality chairman Sankar Adya of TMC was required to prove his majority in the 22-member civic body.
The TMC had clear majority in the municipality with 19 councillors till about fortnight ago, when 14 of them crossed over to BJP. The CPI(M) and the Congress have one councilor each.
Three of the councillors who had defected to the BJP had returned to the TMC fold and a woman councilor of the party had lodged a complaint with the police alleging that two BJP councillors had tried to abduct her.
The two accused BJP councillors - Himadri Mondal and Kartik Mondal - claimed that they had secured anticipatory bail in the case.
They were, however, unable to produce the original copy of the order when asked for by the police, which was deployed in view of the simmering tension, before allowing them to enter the municipality for the trust vote.
The two councillors could produce only photos of the claimed court order on their phones and they were disallowed from entering the municipality office for the trust vote, the police said.
This led a clash between the BJP and the TMC supporters. The saffron party alleged that the two councillors were purposely denied entry.
The party claimed that the two later entered and 11 of its councillors voted in the trust move in the presence of the executive officer and the party won.
TMC district president and state minister Jyotipriya Mallick contested the BJP and claimed that the two BJP councillors had entered the municipality after the scheduled time.
He claimed that TMC had retained its power in the board after the trust vote.
Mallick also alleged that it was the BJP which started the clash and also set off bombs.
"The trust vote was conducted within the schedule time. No confidence against chairman of Bangaon municipality Sankar Adya, brought by the BJP councillors, was rejected due to their absence during the scheduled time on Tuesday," civic body's executive officer Gourango Biswas said.
The time for the trust vote was extended by half an hour to 3.30 p.m in view of the clash outside the building, he added.
North 24 Parganas districts has been witnessing clashes between the two parties since the declaration of the Lok Sabha results in May and at least two persons had been killed in violence in the troubled Bhatp[ara-Kankinara area since the Lok Sabha polls.
The area been witnessing frequent post-poll violence between the rival parties. The fight has intensified ever since Arjun Singh crossed over from the TMC to the BJP and won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, under which the area falls.