Eastern Times: March 10, 2021, New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was injured in Nandigram on Wednesday, hours after she filed her nomination for the upcoming assembly elections in the state, seeking a third term in office. Banerjee alleged that she was attacked by “four or five men” who manhandled her during the election campaign in Nandigram, because of which she was injured. She had hurt her left leg and was immediately taken by car to the SSKM hospital in Kolkata by road.
The Trinamool Congress chief who has chosen Nandigram as her seat this time, to contest against her erstwhile lieutenant Subehndu Adhikary who has switched to BJP, moving from her pocket borough Bhawanipore. She had to cut short her second night halt in Nandigram on Wednesday, as she had to be transported to a hospital in Kolkata after her injury.
The incident happened around 6.15 pm when Banerjee was about to leave Birulia area near Reyapara after praying at a local temple. “I was standing outside my car with the door open. I was praying from there on seeing a temple. Few people came around my car and pushed the door. The door hit my leg,” she said.
Banerjee alleged that she was pushed by four-five men while she was trying to get into the car, following which she fell flat on her face.
The chief minister said that her leg got swollen because of the injury and she was feeling feverish, besides having chest pain. Pointing to her leg, she told reporters, “See how it has swollen up.”
“Some people deliberately did it. Of course, it is a conspiracy. There were no local policemen around me, neither the district police superintendent was present at the spot,” she alleged.
The chief minister also has severe pain in the waist, TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, who is at present in Nandigram, said.
Banerjee was seen being carried by her security personnel to the backseat of her SUV from the front seat, which she usually occupies during travel, as she was in pain. A white cloth was also wrapped around her injured leg.
The incident triggered a security scare as the chief minister gets Z-plus protection.
Banerjee, who was supposed to stay the night in Nandigram in the Purba Medinipur district, was rushed back to Kolkata, around 130 km away, through a green corridor. She was taken to the state-run SSKM Hospital for treatment.
The state government constituted a team of five senior doctors to treat Banerjee, Health Department sources said. In the team were a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a general surgery doctor, an orthopedist and a medicine doctor, they said.
Banerjee was taken to the 12.5 special cabin in the Woodburn Block of the hospital on a stretcher as her convoy reached the hospital, amid a huge presence of her supporters who raised slogans against the BJP.
The chief minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, a TMC MP and state ministers Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee were present at the hospital.
The TMC leadership claimed that the attack was a well-planned conspiracy to “remove her” from the poll campaign.
“Many people don’t want her to campaign for the elections. They want her to be removed from their path. That is why she has been attacked by goons. People will give a befitting reply,” state minister and senior TMC leader Subrata Mukherjee said.
The BJP alleged that Banerjee was trying to turn a “simple accident” into a “pre-planned conspiracy,” and demanded a CBI investigation.
“It can happen that she met with an accident but to claim that she was deliberately pushed is not acceptable. She has a lot of security personnel guarding her round the clock,” BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said. “Such tactics to gain sympathy are unacceptable. I think the matter should be handed over to CBI for an investigation,” he added.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said such “tactics to gain sympathy” would not work this time. “Mamata Banerjee is the police minister of the state and if she is not safe then she should immediately resign from the post,” he said. CPI(M) candidate from Nandigram Minakshi Mukherjee wished her a speedy recovery, but asserted that “people would not be fooled this time.”