Kolkata: The alleged delay in the construction of the new Majerhat bridge in the city Thursday snowballed into a political war after the opposition BJP clashed with the police when it took out a rally over the issue. The ruling TMC accused the Indian railways of delaying the required permission. BJP workers clashed with the police on Thursday afternoon after they were stopped short of the under-construction Majerhat Bridge in the southwestern part of the city where they were scheduled to stage a protest against the alleged delay in completing it. Also Read - MLA Baishali Dalmiya Expelled From TMC For Anti- party Activities, Here's What She Said | WATCH
The police erected barricades at nearby Taratala More to prevent the saffron party cadre from marching towards the construction site, following which the BJP activists pelted the law enforcers with stones. The police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd, a police officer said adding several members of the saffron party were detained. “The BJP activists did not have the requisite permission to take out the rally. So we stopped them. They resorted to violence,” a senior police officer said. Also Read - Fresh Jolt to Mamata Ahead of Elections, Rajib Banerjee Resigns as Forest Minister
The situation took an ugly turn when BJP national general secretary and Bengal minder Kailash Vijayvargiya was shoved inside a bus which was being used to take the detained BJP activists to the Lalbazar central lockup. The police later requested Vijayvargiya to alight from the bus, but he insisted that he would do so only if his party activists were also released. He and the BJP activists were later released. Also Read - Mamata's Nephew Abhishek Banerjee Sends Legal Notice to BJP's Suvendu Adhikari
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, without naming Vijayvargiya accused him of trying to “fake” his arrest despite not being detained by the police. “They (BJP) did not have proper permission and so the police stopped them. The police did not arrest him (Vijayvargiya) but he is faking his arrest for photo ops. This is the standard (of BJP),” she said.
The chief minister also criticised the saffron party for allegedly “lying” about the delay in the construction of the Majerhat Bridge and blamed the Indian Railways for the nine-month delay. About half the bridge stands over railway tracks. “The party (BJP) has turned into a circus party and garbage of lies. They delayed and are now blaming us. We are on the verge of completing it in a record time,” she said.
Countering BJP’s agitation over the bridge, the ruling TMC led by state minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee Thursday took out a procession.It claimed that the saffron party was resorting to “cheap drama” to get publicity.
The Majerhat Bridge, a portion of which collapsed on September 4, 2018, killing two persons, was demolished and a new cable-stayed bridge is being constructed. It is expected to be thrown open to the public early next month.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by India.com staff)