KOLKATA: With less than 48 hours to go for polling in West Bengal's Bongaon (SC) Lok Sabha seat in the fifth phase, its BJP candidate Shantunu Thakur Saturday met with an accident at Hanshpur in Nadia district, police said.
Besides Shantanu, who is the grandson of the Matua community matriarch late Binapani Devi, his driver and two others who were in the vehicle, were injured, the police said.
The BJP candidate suffered an injury in his head and was taken to the Bongaon sub-divisional hospital.
Shantunu was later shifted to a private hospital and was stated to be out of danger, the candidate's father and former minister in Mamata Banerjee cabinet Manjul Krishna Thakur said.
The two other injured were also shifted to the other hospital, he said.
The accident happened at around 12.15 pm when a police van lost control and hit Shantanu's vehicle at the front when he was heading towards Kalyani to attend an election rally on the last day of campaigning, the police said.
Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya was scheduled to address the rally.
None was arrested in connection with the accident and the police vehicle was allegedly damaged by BJP workers.
A West Bengal Police officer said, "We are trying to find out what actually happened and whose fault it was. We are talking to drivers of both the vehicles."
The BJP candidate's parents charged the ruling Trinamool Congress with being responsible for the accident. The TMC denied the allegation and claimed that Shantanu was carrying cash for distribution to voters before Monday's polling.
When contacted, the BJP candidate's mother Chabirani Thakur alleged that the accident was the result of a "conspiracy" hatched by the TMC.
"My son's vehicle was parked on the side of a road and suddenly from nowhere this police van came and hit it. We want a thorough investigation into the matter," she told PTI.
Manjul Krishna Thakur claimed that it was "pre-planned" accident. "Why a vehicle without any passenger hit Shantunu's car when seven others are also parked on the road. I am sure that this is the handiwork of TMC goons," Manjul told PTI.
Demanding immediate arrest of those behind the accident, Manjul said an FIR has been lodged at Gaighata police station.
TMC North 24 Parganas district president Jyotipriyo Mallick denied charges of his party having any role behind the accident.
"The TMC has better things to do than attacking people who has no role in the development of the area. The vehicle carrying him was registered in Uttar Pradesh and Shantunu was carrying huge cash in it. The cash was supposed to be distributed to voters in his constituency," Mallick told PTI.
BJP has pitted Shantanu of the Matua community against sitting TMC MP Mamatabala Thakur, the daughter-in-law of the late Matua matriarch.
The family is witnessing a feud over control on the community, which has an estimated 30 lakh population in the state and can influence results in at least five parliamentary constituencies of North and South 24 Parganas districts.
Seven parliamentary constituencies of Bangaon, Barrackpore both in North 24 Parganas district, Howrah, Uluberia, Sreerampore, Hooghly, Arambag are scheduled to go to the polls in the fifth phase.