Kolkata, Jan 23 : The scuffle between West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress and BJP over garlanding the statue of Netaji SubhashChandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary on Sunday at Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas snowballed into a political controversy with both parties levelling charges at each other.
Trinamool legislator from the district's Naihati Assembly constituency, Partha Bhowmick, alleged that security personnel of BJP's local Barrackapore Lok Sabha MP Arjun Singh fired seven rounds while the latter accused ruling party workers of opening fire, hurling bombs and vandalising his car.
"Does the Trinamool hold exclusive rights to honouring Netaji? I was targeted. My security personnel were attacked with guns and bombs. My car was damaged. What can the Police Commissioner do? He is helpless. It is the job of the local police to track my movements and provide security cover but it is never done," said Singh.
"A bullet narrowly missed one of the Central Industrial Security Force personnel accompanying Singh. We demand a probe by the Centre. Singh enjoys 'Z' category security cover," said state party chief Sukanta Majumdar who immediately rushed to the spot.
Trinamool MP Sougata Roy said: "Bhatpara is a disturbed area and everybody knows that. It is disturbed because of Arjun Singh and one should not have any doubt who is behind it. It is definite that the Trinamool was not behind but it would have been better if the thing didn't happen on the birth anniversary of Netaji." Congress lader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: "The warring political parties should have been careful about the image of West Bengal. They have tainted the image of the state. This is not acceptable." "I cannot believe that two political parties are fighting with each other on the issue of who would garland the statue first. Nothing can be more ridiculous than that. What precedent are they setting? They have humiliated the people of the state," CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said.
The scuffle between Trinamool and BJP workers over garlanding a statue marred the celebration of the freedom fighter's 125th birth anniversary.
The programme was organised by the Trinamool-controlled Bhatpara municipality, and Singh alleged that he was stopped from garlanding the statue and subsequently attacked.
"The fiasco started after a minor scuffle between two men. Only one man was injured. It has been alleged that shots were fired but no cartridge case was found from the spot. We are looking into this. The Member of Parliament went to the celebration without informing the administration, which is mandatory according to protocol. Policemen deployed at the spot said there was no violence or bombing," a senior district police officer said.