New Delhi: Hours after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that she was injured after being attacked by a few men, the Congress' West Bengal chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday accused her of resorting to 'siyasi pakhand' (hypocrisy) and theatrics to gain public sympathy ahead of assembly polls in the state.
Speaking to ANI, Chowdhury said, "This is 'siyasi pakhand' to gain sympathy. Before polls, she (Mamata Banerjee) planned this 'nautanki' (drama) after sensing difficulties in Nandigram.
He said it is strange that during the time when she was allegedly attacked there were no policeman around her.
"She is not just the chief minister, she is the Police Mantri' too. No one can believe that there was no police with Bengal's 'police mantri'. When the police have thrown a security cordon in Nandigram, some youth pushing the chief minister is unbelievable," Chowdhury added.
The Congress leader further said, "Imagine the law-and-order situation for the common people of Bengal when the state's 'police mantri' says she was attacked." This indicates that Mamata Banerjee's position is weakening and she is resorting to theatrics, Chowdhury said, adding, "She is trying to play with the emotions of people."
Meanwhile, Congress' Anand Sharma expressed his concern over the incident and wished the chief minister a speedy recovery.
"Concerned over the physical attack on Mamata Banerjee ji and the injuries she has sustained. Hatred and violence are unacceptable in democracy and must be condemned. Wishing @MamataOfficial a speedy recovery," Sharma tweeted.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the two Congress leaders have had differing views. Recently they traded barbs over the Congress' alliance with Indian Secular Front (ISF), a Muslim outfit headed by the cleric of a local shrine, in West Bengal.
Sharma had said: "alliance with ISF and other such parties is against the ideology of Congress and should have been discussed at Congress Working Ccommitee (CWC)", to which Chowdhury responded : "We are in charge of a state and don't take any decision on our own without any permission." Meanwhile earlier on Wednesday, Banerjee claimed she was injured when she was allegedly pushed by a few unidentified people in Nandigram.
The incident happened at Birulia when Banerjee after her scheduled campaigning program in Nandigram was returning to Reyapara, where she stayed the previous night.
Other opposition leaders have also condemned the incident.
"I strongly condemn the attack on Mamta Didi. Those responsible should be immediately arrested and punished. I pray for her speedy recovery," tweeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the attack on Banerjee was a matter of concern and demanded immediate setting up of a high-level committee to probe the incident.
West Bengal is set to witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning on March 27.