'Attack' on Mamata: Trinamool defers its manifesto release, to approach Election Commission

Express News Service
KOLKATA: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Thursday distanced herself from the allegation of ‘attack and conspiracy’ leading to injuries on her leg in Nandigram.

In a video message on Thursday from SSKM Hospital on Thursday, the TMC chief said she was on the footboard of her vehicle and got sandwiched between the door and the front seat due to the pushing by the crowd.

Without holding any political party responsible for the incident, she urged her supporters to maintain restraint. Mamata, who is suffering from cracks on her left foot and ankle, said she would be back in political activities within two to three days by using a wheelchair.

“It is a fact that I was badly hurt. I received injuries on my leg, elbow, and shoulder. There were bone and ligament injuries. I suffered chest pain. I was greeting people from the car footboard and the crowd moved forward. The entire pressure was on me and I got sandwiched in the car. I was given medicine that was with me and taken to Kolkata,” she said in her video message.

The Z-plus protectee further said, “Do not get involved in activities that will cause inconvenience to common people. My leg injury will remain a problem but I will not let it affect my meetings and political activities. I will have to move around in a wheelchair and for that, I need your support.”

The incident took place hours after Mamata filed nomination for one of her toughest election contests in Nandigram where her former aide and BJP’s star campaigner Suvendu Adhikari is her competitor.

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Preliminary investigation by the police, too, revealed the incident was an accident, not an attack. Senior police officials visited the spot and recorded statements of the eyewitnesses who were present there when Mamata’s car stopped to greet the crowd standing beside the road.

Sources in the TMC said the CM’s initial reaction describing the incident as a conspiracy and attack on her might be a statement that she had made in a fit of rage. “She might have later realised that the conspiracy allegation could hurt her own supporters who wanted to have a glimpse of the Chief Minister,” said a leader of the ruling party.

Mamata’s Medical examination at the hospital revealed cracks on her feet and ankle and injuries on her elbow and shoulder. She complained of chest pain and headache but ECG and MRI report found no injury. She also underwent a CT scan on Thursday. The doctors treating the CM advised her to rest for 10 days.

Mamata’s appeal to her supporters for maintaining restraint was in the backdrop of state-wide protests by blocking roads and tagging demonstrations.

Shortly before Mamata issued the video message, the TMC alleged the Chief Minister was under threat due to abrupt removal of the Director-General of Police (DGP) two days ago. In a letter to the Election Commission, the TMC alleged the removal of the state DGP at the ‘behest of BJP’ had put the Chief Minister under threat.

BJP’s Bengal chapter, however, decided not to add any political colour over the issue of Mamata’s initial reaction describing the incident a result of conspiracy. Former state BJP president Tathagata Roy, MP Locket Chatterjee and party’s spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya went to the hospital to visit Mamata, but they were not allowed by the doctors.

“We wish the Chief Minister a speedy recovery. We have come here on humanitarian grounds. We don’t want to make any political statement here,” said Locket.