KOLKATA: Union Minister Shantanu Thakur on Tuesday claimed that he was arrested at Birati in North 24 Parganas district even as the police said that he himself boarded a police vehicle.

BJP workers had assembled at Birati as part of the party’s “Shahid Samman Yatra” in West Bengal.

Thakur, who is a member of the Lok Sabha from Bongaon constituency in North 24 Parganas, claimed that he was arrested by the police when he went to a temple there to offer puja.

A police official said that while BJP workers were arrested for illegally assembling there, Thakur had boarded the police vehicle on his own.

Thakur and other BJP leaders, including Jay Prakash Majumdar and Archana Majumdar, along with party workers and supporters were taken to the Airport police station.

“I came to offer puja and was arrested by the police,” the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways told reporters.

On the claim of the police that he was not apprehended and that he himself boarded the police vehicle, Thakur said, “If I had got arrested on my own, why will so many others be there with me here.”

Thakur alleged that the police told him that he was doing “illegal work” by being at that place.

“I believe that democracy and ‘adhyatma bad’ (spiritualism) has been finished in West Bengal,” he said.