Within 24 hours of being the victim of an accident in Nandigram, where Mamata Banerjee was on a two-day campaign spree for the upcoming polls, the West Bengal chief minister has taken a rather grand U-turn on the sequence of events that led to her getting injured. For an entire day, a relentless campaign was run by the TMC that of Mamata Banerjee being a victim of a violent attack perpetrated by the BJP, with the aim being to take the TMC supremo’s life. Banerjee had herself on Wednesday claimed that she was pushed by four-five men when she was entering her car, who slammed the door on her legs.
In a complete change of rhetoric, the chief minister took to urging her party workers to remain calm and not cause troubles to the general public. The appeal was made by her from the hospital bed. Banerjee is currently housed in the Smt Sucheta Kriplani Hospital located in the Lady Hardinge Medical College in Kolkata. The change in the testimony has come after the BJP pushed back hard against these false claims of it having orchestrated an attack on the chief minister. The West Bengal police too had debunked claims of Mamata Banerjee being attacked, and in a report, told the Election Commission that she simply met with an accident.
In the video message, she said that she was sitting on the bonnet of her car, greeting people with folded hands. “When I was doing namaskar towards the crowd from the top of the bonnet, suddenly I felt a huge pressure, and my legs were crushed by the car”, the chief minister said. The latest statement indicates that Mamata Banerjee might have suffered a blackout and fallen from the bonnet of the car leading to her legs being run over by the car.
This too, however, is in stark contrast to what eyewitnesses have claimed to have seen. TFI reported on Thursday that at least two eyewitnesses have claimed that Mamata Banerjee was not part of any organised attack. A student Suman Maity told news agency ANI, “A crowd had gathered to see the CM. When she was leaving, she fell down and got injured on her neck and leg. She was not pushed; people were only gathering to see her. The car was moving quite slowly.”
Another eyewitness Chitranjan Das told ANI, “I saw what happened. Mamata Banerjee came back from visiting temples and she was sitting in her car with the door open. There was a hoarding in front of the car which fell down on the door and hit Mamata Banerjee on her neck and knee. She was not hit or pushed.”
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Mamata Banerjee had earlier said, despite allegedly being in grave pain, “Not even one Police officer was present. 4-5 people intentionally manhandled me in presence of the public. No local cops were present during the program, not even the SP. It was definitely a conspiracy. There were no police officials for 4-5 hours in such huge public gathering.”
Despite Mamata Banerjee changing her testimony, TMC’s Madan Mitra took to furthering yet another baseless and slanderous theory – that of the attack on Banerjee being perpetrated by RSS workers. He claimed that the ‘attack’ on Mamata Banerjee was carried out by ‘trained men in nikkars (knickers)’. Comparing the ‘attack’ to Godhra carnage, Mitra claimed that had the same incident taken place in any other state, like Gujarat, it would have become ‘another Godhra’.
Fearing that the false claims of the TMC could rather end up hurting the party’s already dilapidated electoral fortunes, Mamata Banerjee seems to have been forced to change course and abandon ridiculous claims of her being attacked as part of a conspiracy of the BJP.