(With additional inputs and pol reax) Kolkata, Jul 5 (PTI) BJP activists clashed with the police during their march to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) headquarters here Monday to protest the fake vaccination racket in the city.
The saffron party workers and leaders had taken out rallies from the BJP state headquarters and Hind Cinema despite the police denying them permission for the programmes.
The agitation programme also brought forward fault lines in the saffron camp as Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and BJP Yuva Morcha president Saumitra Khan remained conspicuous by their absence.
The police detained several senior BJP leaders and workers during their march towards the KMC office. They were later released.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh claimed that the TMC government was trying to 'hush up' the alleged connection between Debanjan Deb, the suspected mastermind of the fake vaccination racket, and several ruling party leaders and KMC bosses, and the saffron party had organised the demonstration to expose this 'nexus'.
'When the TMC was in the opposition, they used to conduct programmes without any permission. And now if we want to hold any political event, we are prevented from doing so,' he said.
According to the BJP leadership, the party was only holding a symbolic protest against the fake vaccination camp but were attacked by the police and several MLAs and MPs were arrested without any valid reason.
However, the Kolkata police denied the charges and said the BJP was denied the permission Sunday evening, citing COVID situation.
The BJP activists were stopped by the police and were pleaded to go back. Instead, they turned violent and broke barricades. We had to use force to disperse them, but there was no baton charge, a police official said.
The TMC, however, mocked the BJP for trying to find ways to vent out its frustration of 'humiliating defeat in assembly polls'.
'Neither the TMC nor KMC have anything to do with these fake vaccination camps. The police is investigating the matter, and the main accused has been arrested. But, the BJP is trying to politicise the matter to vent out its frustration of humiliating defeat in assembly polls.' TMC secretary- general Partha Chatterjee said.
Meanwhile, the saffron party's agitation also brought forward a fault line within the party as Khan and Adhikari gave the event a miss, even though the agitation programmed was called by the Yuva Morcha.
'It is a well-known fact that Khan and Adhikari don't share a good relationship with the state president. And it was quite natural that they won't attend the programme led by Dilip Ghosh,' a senior BJP leader said.
However, Ghosh said both the leaders were preoccupied with other political programmes, which is why they couldn't attend the protest march to KMC. PTI PNT SNS SNS