Violent altercations broke out on Thursday in various parts of Kolkata as the BJP assembled in massive numbers to undertake four mega rallies towards the state secretariat, Nabanna. And as BJP workers protested outside Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s house, broke barricades in Santragachi and more, the situation turned grim.
The police have undertaken lathi charges, fired tear gas and sprayed water cannons to disperse the crowd. Reportedly, BJP leader Raju Banerjee has fallen unwell. There has also been heavy Rapid Action Force troops deployed in Santragachi and Hastings.
But while the current scenario is concerning, why exactly is the BJP holding a protest march in the first place?
The Nabanno Chalo rally is the brainchild of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and their President Tejasvi Surya reached the eastern city on Thursday morning.
The aim here is for the BJP to raise their voice against a slew of alleged issues, from lack of employment opportunities to law and order problems. In recent days, there have been several deaths in the faction, with several party workers passing away. Most recently, the Barrackpore area near Kolkata observed a shutdown protest over the murder of a local BJP councillor by bike-borne assailants.
The youth wing of the BJP had put forth a seven point agency that aims, to quote what Surya told News 18, to "reclaim that rich legacy" of West Bengal. "Bengal’s youth are losing out on great opportunities because of Mamta di’s misrule...Bengal wants paribartan and BJP is that voice for the youth," he was quoted as saying.
With elections coming up next year, this protest is also a rallying point for the party ahead of Amit Shah's rally in the later half of this month.