BJP's Dilip Ghosh pushed and heckled in Bhowanipore by alleged TMC workers, EC seeks report 

National TV channels showed Ghosh being pushed and heckled on a road as a posse of security guards tried to shield him.
An injured BJP worker being carried after being beaten by alleged TMC workers. (Photo | PTI)
An injured BJP worker being carried after being beaten by alleged TMC workers. (Photo | PTI)

KOLKATA: BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh was Monday pushed and heckled by alleged TMC supporters in Bhowanipore assembly constituency, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in the fray, provoking his security officer to whip out a pistol, as political temperature rose on the last day of electioneering.

The Election Commission has sought a report from the state government on the incident.

BJP MP Arjun Singh faced "go back" slogans by ruling TMC workers while campaigning for party candidate Priyanka Tibrewal.

National TV channels showed Ghosh being pushed and heckled on a road as a posse of security guards tried to shield him. A suspected TMC supporter was seen grabbing a security man by his collar who swiftly pulled out a pistol to scare away the crowd.

The incident occurred when Ghosh had gone inside a vaccination camp in Jodubabur Bazaar area in the constituency, where by-poll will be held on September 30.

TMC supporters present at the spot shouted slogans demanding that he leave, alleging he was campaigning at a state-run vaccination programme.

Ghosh, who was whisked away by his security guards, later alleged TMC supporters "attacked" him without provocation and injured a BJP activist.

"We will take up the issue with the Election Commission. What kind of election this is?" he asked.

Sources in the office of the state's chief electoral officer said the Election Commission had sought a report from the state government by 4 pm.

It was not yet known if the state had sent its report to the poll panel or contents thereof.

Arjun Singh, who is in charge of the BJP campaign in the constituency, faced "go back" slogans and called "bohiragato" (outsider) as he went around the area soliciting votes.

Singh, a multiple-term former TMC MLA, now represents Barrackpore constituency in the Lok Sabha.

Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Suvendu Adhikari, Mamata Banerjee's nemesis in Nandigram, demanded that the Election Commission take action against those responsible for the incident.

"The situation here is 'nazuk' (fragile). But BJP workers will fight till their last breath and not quit," he asserted. Senior TMC leader Madan Mitra said everybody has the right to campaign door-to-door in the constituency but not to intimidate people with a weapon.

"It's not Godhra or Bhatpara, it's Bhowanipore. BJP will get a befitting reply for its actions on September 30," he said.

Arjun Singh accused the state administration and police of doing nothing even when MPs and national level BJP leaders were being attacked.

TMC leader Firhad Hakim, a minister, accused the BJP of provoking the people to create disturbance in the peaceful middle class neighbourhood.

"BJP is resorting to provocation sensing defeat. It is better to ignore them. Common people are protesting against them for spreading hatred, falsehood and indulging in personal attacks," Hakim said.

In a tweet, the TMC allleged that Ghosh's bodyguard had brandished firearms to scare away the people.

"@BJP4Bengal HITS A NEW LOW! How DARE a gun be aimed at (the) public in broad daylight? Do people not have the right to protest against leaders they do not support? Such blatant violation of human rights is shameful! This compromises the safety and security of people in Bhowanipore!" the party tweeted.

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