Kolkata, July 18: The opposition in West Bengal lashed out at a district leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) for allegedly making inflammatory statements during a rally ahead of the third phase of the violence-marred panchayat elections in the state.
Two state ministers were also present when the leader made his inciting speech.
According to local reports, the Birbhum district secretary of the TMC, Anubrata Mandal, told the party supporters at a rally in Kasba panchayat area in Panrui to retaliate if any Independent candidate targetted them. He even advised the supporters to bomb the police if they tried to protect the Independent candidates.
The Independents, whom Mandal attacked during the rally, are mostly members of the TMC who did not get tickets to contest the polls.
A few days ago, Mandal had asked his party workers not to allow the opposition to file nomination for the elections. The state election commission had asked the Birbhum district administration to take steps against Mandal but nothing happened. Even on Wednesday, the state police authorities remained silent despite the ruling party leader's open threat against the police.
Sources in the TMC said the leader has been warned over such speeches and the latter said the words were expressed inadvertently.
The opposition has slammed the ruling party and also said the administration has been crippled and made ineffective. "We have no security," said one opposition leader.