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CPM says vandalisation of Vidyasagar's bust 'despicable', demands EC probe

ANI | Kolkata (West Bengal) | Updated: 15-05-2019 19:52 IST | Created: 15-05-2019 17:45 IST
CPM says vandalisation of Vidyasagar's bust 'despicable', demands EC probe
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The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday strongly condemned the vandalisation of the best of 19th-century social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and demanded the Election Commission to launch an investigation into the violent clashes during BJP president Amit Shah's roadshow. "During Amit Shah's roadshow, a statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised. We condemn this despicable act. Vidyasagar was an icon of the Bengal Renaissance. He was a leader in modernising our society and gave a thrust to our national freedom. This is a serious matter," CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.

Describing the incident as a "serious matter", Yechury said CCTV footage should be examined by the EC, adding that the poll body should take "appropriate punitive action" against perpetrators. "EC should take cognisance of this serious matter. The CCTV footage should be investigated. If the police were not doing its job properly, they should be probed and the action should be taken against them," he said.

On Tuesday, clashes broke out after miscreants threw sticks at Shah's convoy. The incident took place on College Street when TMC supporters allegedly began sloganeering. Furious BJP supporters responded by pelting stones and sticks at the Calcutta University gates, resulting in chaos and mayhem.

During the clashes, Vidyasagar's bust was vandalised by BJP workers at Vidyasagar College. While BJP accused the Mamata Banerjee government of "murdering democracy", the TMC claimed that the saffron party instigated the violence.

Slamming Banerjee's recent comment that voting for CPM meant voting for BJP, Yechury asserted that the Left Front is "very much in the electoral fray" and "surprising results" would come from West Bengal on May 23. "I am surprised by the ridiculous statement made by the Chief Minister. Both BJP and TMC are running a deliberate campaign saying that it is a fight between TMC and BJP only. Left Front is very much in the fray and is contesting on all seats in Bengal. There will be surprising results in Bengal. This is not polarisation between TMC and BJP," the CPM leader said.

Alleging that free and fair polls were not being held in the state, Yechury said voters were not being allowed to exercise their franchise due to booth capturing. "In the last few phases, there has been a huge disturbance where many booths have been captured. Voters are not being allowed to vote. We brought this matter up to the EC. But unfortunately, nothing has been done," he added.

The BJP has urged the EC to bar Banerjee from campaigning ahead of the last and final phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, alleging a breakdown of constitutional machinery in West Bengal. Voting for nine seats in the state will be held in the seventh and final phase of the general elections on May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.


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