West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who was on Wednesday injured during her visit to Nandigram, said in a video message while lying on her bed at the SSKM hospital in Kolkata, that she might have to use a wheelchair for addressing her party’s electoral rallies but she would not give her rallies a miss.
Banerjee plans to resume electoral activities in another two-three days, she said, and urged her party’s workers and supporters to maintain peace.
“I was badly hurt yesterday and I am still in pain. Yesterday, I also had pain in my chest and head. I am hopeful of returning to the field in another two-three days. The wound in my leg may persist but I’ll manage. I wouldn’t cancel my meetings. I might have to use a wheelchair for some time and I will require your cooperation in this regard,” she said in the message.
Banerjee has a plaster on her injured leg, which was swollen even on Thursday afternoon.
According to an official at the SSKM hospital, she has sustained a fracture near her left heel and toe and has injuries in ligaments and other muscles.
Meanwhile, the TMC lodged a complaint with the chief electoral officer of the state, alleging a “gruesome attack” on her and accused the election commission of India of having removed the state’s director general of police a day before chief minister’s injury “at the behest of the BJP.”
“When the Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken over the law-and-order machinery in the State in the name of conducting elections, appropriated the whole governance structure, summarily removed and replaced the Director General of Police (DGP) without any consultation with the State Government, at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the CM and a candidate from Nandigram, West Bengal, who is a Z plus protectee, is threatened. Within 24 hours of the removal of the erstwhile DGP, an attempt on Ms. Mamata Banerjee’s life was made in Nandigram this evening,” the complaint reads.
“At the time of the assault, neither the Superintendent of Police nor the local police, was present to give her security cover, even though she is a Z plus protectee. only her personal security officers were with her,” the TMC alleged, echoing the party’s allegations made on Wednesday about security lapses.
State-level leaders of the CPI(M) the Congress have alleged that Mamata Banerjee was playing out a script to gain sympathy.
The BJP has offered a more guarded response. Party leaders Samik Bhattacharya and Tathagata Roy went to the SSKM hospital to meet the chief minister but they were not allowed to enter Banerjee’s room, as doctors advised she required rest.
“We won’t make a political comment on this at present. We pray for her speedy recovery. Her allegations are major and should be thoroughly probed. It’s strange that no video footage of the incident has emerged from any corner yet,” said Samik Bhattacharya, the party’s state unit spokesperson.
However, the BJP’s state unit president Dilip Ghosh questioned Mamata Banerjee’s decision to return to Kolkata and take admission in the SSKM hospital without considering the multi-speciality hospital in Nandigram that she boasts of building.
“What is the multi-speciality hospital in Nandigram for if one has to visit Kolkata for a leg injury?” Ghosh asked.