Bhowanipore bypoll: BJP, Left raise disruption charge against Trinamul
The BJP and the Left Front separately alleged on Sunday that the Trinamul Congress had disrupted their campaign for the Bhowanipore bypoll out of Mamata Banerjee’s fear of defeat.
The BJP’s Bhowanipore candidate Priyanka Tibrewal and the party’s North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari — an actor-singer from Bhojpuri cinema — were shown Trinamul flags by residents while the duo were campaigning on Sunday morning.
Trinamul supporters allegedly told Tibrewal and Tiwari to leave the Ambedkar Colony area of Chetla.
“Wherever we went through the campaign season, they kept disrupting our activities. What does this say about the chief minister, is this not fear of defeat?” asked Tibrewal. Trinamul’s Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, now the agriculture minister, had won Bhowanipore by a margin of nearly 29,000 votes — around 23 per cent of the vote share — this summer.
Earlier in the day, CPM leaders had got involved in a scuffle while they were campaigning near the chief minister’s residence on Harish Chatterjee Street.
CPM candidate Srijib Biswas was accompanied by the party’s central committee member Sujan Chakraborty and 40-odd supporters.
However, they were stopped by police when they tried entering Harish Chatterjee Street.
The area is a high security zone because Mamata lives there and there have been several instances of friction between the police and the BJP during the campaign whenever the Tibrewal contingent tried entering the area.
On Sunday, two of the three barricades were toppled by CPM supporters and the party alleged that the police had manhandled Chakraborty and Biswas.
Later, the police allowed both, along with three others, to access Harish Chatterjee Street and campaign.
“Are we living in a monarchy? The people of Bengal aren’t subjects. They are citizens who have basic rights in a democracy,” Chakraborty later said.