West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday blamed Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the violence in Sitalkuchi in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district where voting had to be called off after clashes left four people dead.
“Home Minister Amit Shah is completely responsible for today’s incident and he himself is the conspirator. I don’t blame central forces because they work under Home Minister’s order,” she said.
Ms Banerjee will visit the area on Sunday while the Trinamool Congress plans to organise black-badge protests across the state to mark the incident.
The four men were shot dead this morning in a clash with security forces outside a polling booth.
The clashes, which took place as 44 seats vote today in the fourth phase of state elections, have triggered a blame-game between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress.
The Election Commission has stopped polling at the booth in Sitalkuchi, about 680 km from state capital Kolkata, where violence was reported and a detailed report has been sought by 5 pm.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths at a rally in Bengal. But he also slammed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party soon after the incident. “What happened in Cooch Behar is sad… I offer condolences to bereaved families. Mamata Didi and her goons are jittery because of groundswell of support for the BJP.”
Mamata Banerjee hit back at the central government as she demanded Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation. “The BJP knows it won’t win so it’s resorting to bombs and violence,” she said.