Days before the 7th and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, allegations and counter-allegations flew thick and fast between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress on Wednesday over the violence in Kolkata.
The political ecosystem in the state turned ugly on Tuesday evening when sticks were allegedly thrown at BJP President Amit Shah's campaign truck during his roadshow in the city of joy.
Clashes broke out between BJP supporters and Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) activists and the police had to intervene and lathi-charge the crowd to take control of the situation.
Bengali polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's statue was also vandalised during the clashes.
Shah had alleged that TMC goons were frustrated after seeing the rise of the saffron party in West Bengal and hence resorted to violence.
On Wednesday, Shah launched a fresh salvo on Mamata, saying the TMC had engineered violence during his road show.
“We will not be intimidated by violence, he said, adding, "anger of Bengalis will translate into a defeat for Mamata didi who is stifling democracy in the state."
“I am told Bengal government has filed an FIR against me. Let me tell them I am not scared of FIRs," he said.
Responding to Shah, TMC leader Derek O'Brien said the BJP president was the "biggest liar," adding that Tuesday's incident hurt the pride of Bengalis.
"Streets of Kolkata tinged with shock, anger. We will take videos we have to EC; we are authenticating them on record," Derek said.
Derek also released a video to "prove BJP goons" damaged statue of polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
TMC has also claimed that the BJP had brought "goons" from outside the state.
#WATCH Derek O Brien,TMC: Anybody can come and do a procession, but what were the outsiders.....Who is this fellow Tejinder Bagga? Who is he? He was arrested, is he not the same guy who slapped somebody in Delhi? You have taken in your outsider goons pic.twitter.com/0JDca4y6G1— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2019
West Bengal has witnessed violence throughout the preceding six phases of elections as party workers from both -- the BJP and the TMC -- brawled outside polling booths.
The roadshow in Kolkata saw an unprecedented saffron surge. Chanting "Jai Shri Ram", BJP supporters, dressed up as Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman along with mace), were all over the streets of the metropolis which boasts of distinct Bengali culture.
Amid the political violence, cropped up another controversy when a woman BJP activist was arrested for sharing a morphed photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Days later, when she was granted bail, the woman alleged that she was tortured in jail.