Accusing the BJP of bringing goons from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar ahead of the second phase polls in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that she will respond like a lion and women in Nandigram will beat the hooligans with utensils.
Addressing a public meeting here, Banerjee said, "Those who cannot love culture, cannot do politics here. Nandigram witnessing hooligsm. We did a meeting in Birulia. The TMC office was destroyed. He (Suvendu Adhikari) is doing whatever he wants. I can play games too. I too will respond like a lion. I am a Royal Bengal tiger."
Speaking about the incident in which she suffered injuries and fractured her leg in Nandigram on March 10, she said: "They attacked me. No one from Nandigram attacked me but you (BJP) brought goons from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. We want a free and fair election. If they come, women should beat them up with utensils."
Earlier in the day, Mamata held a 'padayatra' (roadshow) on a wheelchair, marking the first roadshow here after she was injured in an alleged attack earlier this month.
Nandigram will witness the most high-profile contest in the second phase of the state assembly elections to be held on April 1 with the Chief Minister taking on her former ministerial colleague Suvendu Adhikari, who had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in December last year.
In phase-II, thirty seats will go to polls to decide the fate of 171 candidates including 19 women.
Earlier on Monday, a TMC delegation met the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal in Kolkata asking him to immediately round up all anti-social elements in Purba Medinipur and take them into preventive custody to ensure a free and fair election.
The delegation alleged that BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has been harbouring criminals who are non-residents of Nandigram at multiple locations in the constituency. TMC asks the Chief Electoral Officer to 'direct necessary steps to apprehend all outside criminals harboured by Adhikari'.
The TMC delegation also urged EC to "refrain from deploying armed forces from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar any other BJP or NDA ruled states during the second phase of elections in Purba Medinipur and also for other phases to ensure that there is no partisan act in this election by the armed forces."
The first phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections concluded with an estimated 79.79 per cent voter turnout on Saturday.
In the first phase, 30 seats covering all assembly constituencies from the districts of Purulia and Jhargram and a segment of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur went to the polls to decide on the electoral fate of 191 candidates, including 21 women.
Now the remaining seven phases for the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held on different dates with the final round of voting scheduled on April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.
( With inputs from ANI )
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