KOLKATA: The West Bengal legislative assembly on Thursday witnessed slogan shouting by both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislators who blamed each other for the September 13 violence during the saffron camp’s agitation against the state government on the issue of corruption.
The TMC, however, focused on leader of the opposition in the assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, for refusing to be touched by women police personnel when he was arrested on Tuesday. Ruling party MLAs displayed colourful posters that carried what Adhikari could be heard telling a lady officer: “Don’t touch me. You are a lady, I am male.”
The clashes between BJP workers and police in Kolkata and Howrah left 27 police personnel, including some senior officers, injured. Claiming that around 250 of its supporters were hurt, the BJP voiced charges of police atrocity. Around 20 people were arrested for assaulting police officers and setting a police vehicle on fire. The BJP claimed that TMC planted hooligans in their processions to create unrest.
On Thursday, Speaker Biman Banerjee did not allow Adhikari to move an adjournment motion on this issue when the House opened for its monsoon session.
Placard-wielding BJP legislators staged a walk-out, shouting slogans against chief minister Mamata Banerjee who said at an administrative meeting on Wednesday that policemen showed restraint by not opening fire. They also targeted her nephew and TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee who said he would have shot the troublemakers in the head.
TMC legislators, on the other hand, singled out Adhikari for his “Don’t touch me” remark.
Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya ridiculed Adhikari saying, “He peacefully walked into police van even before the agitation started. Bengal has seen how bold he is.”
Countering the personal attacks, Adhikari claimed that sending women personnel to arrest him was an attempt to frame him in a false case.
“I refused to be touched by the women personnel because I smelt a conspiracy. They were not in uniform. They were wearing tracksuits. I asked male police officers in uniform to come forward,” said Adhikari.
Amid the personal attacks on Adhikari, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said: “The line of decency is being crossed. Have we ever said anything about the chief minister’s personal life?”