Kolkata: Enraged by the killing of four Trinamul Congress workers by Central paramilitary forces in Coochbehar during the fourth phase of Assembly election in West Bengal on Saturday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee accused Union home minister Amit Shah of being a "conspirator" of the shooting and demanded his resignation.
Erupting in fury, Ms Banerjee told a TMC rally in North 24 Parganas, "A dangerous incident has left me in pain. The Central forces gunned down four persons at Sitalkuchi in Coochbehar. Another death also happened in the morning. From the very first day I have been vocal. Central forces are not my enemy. But the way it killed four voters standing in the queue only proved the Union home minister's conspiracy that has been on. Mr Shah, you must resign as you are the conspirator."
She alleged, "After killing so many people, the BJP now claims the firing was in self-defence. They must hang themselves in shame! Where did they get so much audacity from? Where do so many atrocities originate from? BJP knows it has lost in the polls. That is why they are killing the voters and workers. What fault did they commit?"
Puncturing the Trinamul Congress supremo's claim, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was also in the state for poll campaign in two districts, referred to Ms Banerjee's alleged provocation to attack the Central forces and warned her and her party workers against hooliganism.
He mourned the loss of lives and urged the Election Commission for strong punishment for the accused of the killings.
Addressing a BJP rally in Siliguri of North Bengal, Mr Modi said, "What happened in Coochbehar is very sad. I mourn the loss of lives in the killings. My condolences with their families. Didi and her goons have been panicked to see the support of the people for the BJP. Seeing herself losing the chair, Didi has stooped to such a low level! But I want to make it clear to the TMC, Didi and her goons that their muscle-flexing will not be allowed in Bengal. I request the Election Commission to take stringent action on the accused of the incident."
He however told Ms Banerjee, "But your tricks to provoke the people in attacking the Central forces on poll-duty and obstruct the polling process will not be able to save you. Your violence after a decade-long misdeed cannot save you. People are casting their votes in large numbers for BJP. North Bengal has shown it."
Standing by the Central forces for their role in the poll duty, Mr Modi observed that the TMC chief, not the forces, has become the biggest trouble in the polls....