TMC men attacked BJYM members in Nandigram, says Pradhan

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Nandigram(WB), Mar 18 (PTI) Clashes broke out between supporters of the TMC and the BJP on Thursday during Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan's rally here in Purba Medinipur, leaving one or two of them injured, police sources said.

Pradhan, however, claimed that five to six TMC men attacked BJYM workers who had taken out a rally in Sonachura area of Nandigram, minutes after the party's candidate from Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari, passed by the area.

Denying the charge, local TMC leaders said the saffron camp members attacked the workers of the state's ruling camp, and not the other way round.

'I saw five to six TMC men attacking one of our Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists, Purna Patra. He was bleeding as the attackers fled the spot. I managed to send him to Reapara Hospital in the area,' Pradhan told reporters.

The Union minister, who was in Nandigram to campaign for Adhikari, said police officers stood and watched but did nothing to help the BJYM worker.

A senior police officer, when approached, rejected the allegation and said necessary action was taken to stop the clashes.

Adhikari is pitted opposite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the constituency.

Pradhan further said that TMC activists were camping outside the hospital, where Patra has been admitted, to stop BJP workers from meeting him.

'We will draw the Election Commission's attention to the incident. We are not being allowed to campaign freely in Nandigram. Democratic principles are being violated openly,' he said.

The petroleum minister also pointed out that a few BJP workers sustained splinter injuries in crude bomb blast, earlier in he day, in Kalicharanpur area of the constituency.

TMC leaders, on their part, claimed that the BJP, having found little support in Nandigram, is indulging in petty tricks to instigate violence in the area.

'None of our supporters were involved in any attack on BJP men. On the contrary, our activists were attacked by BJP goons at Sonachura,' a TMC leader said. PTI SUS RMS RMS