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Police baton-charge crowd at Mamata rally

Special Correspondent

Trouble broke out when they were attacked with stones

— Photo: PTI

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee addresses a rally during the election campaign for the Assembly polls in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Tuesday.

KOLKATA: Commotion prevailed at an election rally of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at Haroa in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Tuesday when police used batons after being attacked with stones by a section of the crowd.

Ms. Banerjee got down from the dais with a microphone in her hand appealing for calm.

The incident prompted a tirade from her against the Communist Party of India (Marxist). She charged the CPI(M) with inciting the trouble with the help of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“The CPI(M), with some people from the RSS and the BJP created the trouble….The meeting was peaceful when suddenly I saw the police lathi-charging….The police were even preparing to fire from their guns. I somehow controlled the situation,” she said.

“Does one fire at lakhs of people?” Ms. Banerjee said, but hastened to add that “not all in the police are cadres of the CPI(M).”

“Someone in the administration had planned this along with the CPI(M) and the BJP.” The incident demonstrated that the “CPI(M)'s fear of the people.” She accused the CPI(M) of dividing people on communal lines.

Calling for the “burial” of the CPI(M) and the BJP in the Assembly elections, she said there was no stopping the CPI(M) from going out of power.

Referring to Monday's first-phase Assembly polls in six north Bengal districts, she said: “The CPI(M) has for so long been the strongest [party] in north Bengal where [this time around] out of the 54 seats it will not even get 10.”

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