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How Mamata's 'Ankle Injury' Could be Suvendu Adhikari’s Achilles' Heel in Bengal Assembly Polls

Mamata Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari

Mamata Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari

The upcoming West Bengal Assembly Elections will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29, 2021.

A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was ‘heckled’ and suffered severe injuries, a high level team of officials led by East Midnapore District Magistrate Vibhu Goel on Thursday morning visited the spot in Nandigram’s Birulia Bazar where the incident occurred.

Midnapore DIG Kunal Agarwal, Superintendent of Police Praween Prakash and Additional Superintendent of Police Partha Ghosh also visited the spot and interacted with local people to get more information on what exactly happened with the chief minister and how she received multiple injuries all over her body.

Speaking to reporters, Vibhu Goel, said that the officials had visited the area to interact with the locals and gather information on Wednesday’s incident. “We came to interact with the local people to collect details about yesterday’s incident. We are getting multiple views and statements. We have not found any CCTV footage,” he said.

“At the time of the incident, there was a huge crowd and therefore the local people failed to share details. We are going through the video footage and photographs. We will send it for examination and analysis before coming to a conclusion,” he added.

CM Mamata Banerjee claimed that she was ‘heckled’ and received severe left leg injuries in Nandigram while getting into her car after interacting with the local villagers in Birulia Bazar in East Midnapore on Wednesday, March 10.

Banerjee was interacting with the local villagers at the area when all of a sudden, the situation became chaotic around 6:28 PM due to a section of men present at the spot, and she fell down. Her security guards rushed to help her get into the backseat of her car.

Banerjee informed her guards that she suffered a severe leg injury and also complained of chest pain. She alleged that the local police and SP Praween Prakash were not present when the incident occurred.

Calling it a conspiracy against her, Banerjee said that the attack was a well-planned one. “It was a conspiracy. The attack was planned well as there were no policemen around me. There were a couple of men in the crowd who pushed the door of my car and left me badly injured. Please allow me to go to a hospital,” she had said after the incident.

The incident has raised some serious questions about the safety of the chief minister who has a security cover of Z+ category. It also raised doubts on how the crowd came so close to her, why the superintendent of police was not present at the time of the incident and why police failed to control the crowd.

Seeking a report on the ‘attack’ on Banerjee, the Election Commission (EC) has asked Special Observer Ajay Nayak and Special Police Observer Vivek Dubey to visit the spot on Friday, March 12. The Director General of Police (DGP) P Nirajnayan also asked SP Praween Prakash to submit a report on the same.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress leaders raised doubts about the incident and claimed that it could be a political stunt to gain sympathy votes. “I pray for her speedy recovery. Let there be a CBI inquiry so that we should know what exactly happened,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.

On January 18, Banerjee had announced to contest from Nandigram in the upcoming state Assembly polls. The BJP had announced Suvendu Adhikari’s name from the same seat to contest against the CM.

Nandigram is a prestige battle for Banerjee who had demolished the Left Front rule in Bengal while riding the Nandigram anti-land acquisition movements, leaving the Left insignificant in the state’s politics.

The upcoming West Bengal Assembly Elections will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29, 2021. The results will be declared on May 2.

The polling in Nandigram will be held on April 1 and it is expected to be ‘mother of all battles’ and now, the contest has become more challenging for the BJP as Banerjee’s ‘ankle injuries’ could be Suvendu Adhikari’s Achilles’ heel on poll day.