Kolkata: Days after the ‘fracas’ at Nandigram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit the campaign trail on a wheelchair on Sunday. Seen greeting the crowd with folded hands, with security personnel pushing her wheelchair, she touted herself as the ‘saviour of democracy’ in West Bengal.
Even as she marked her comeback, the Election Commission concurred with reports from its two poll observers that there was no pre-meditated attack on Mamata in Nandigram, indicating that her injuries were the result of a security lapse. The EC has accordingly ordered that the Director, Security, Vivek Sahay, an IPS officer, "be removed" from his post and placed under suspension.
Taking part in a 5-km roadshow from Kolkata’s Mayo Road to Hazra, Mamata dedicated the day to Nandigram and claimed that despite being advised to take bed rest by the doctors, she decided to join the heat and dust of electioneering to save West Bengal.
“I will not let those who conspired against me to win. In my absence they will debilitate the democracy in West Bengal. So, with a broken leg in plaster I will campaign across the state on a wheelchair,” claimed Mamata.
Taking a cue, the TMC activists chanted in unision: "Bhanga Paye Khela Hobe!" (Will play with broken leg).
Daring the BJP, TMC supremo asserted that ‘an injured tigress’ is even more ferocious. The last person to recline in her lair and lick her wounds, she will campaign relentlessly. ‘‘The game is on,’’ she exclaimed, much to the discomfort of the BJP cadres who are finding it hard to take on Mamata in her new demeanour as an injured foot soldier who is insisting on fighting in a wheelchair. Ahead of the road show, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee claimed that the ‘broken leg’ will again find a toehold in the West Bengal state secretariat, in a clear message that the TMC has overnight changed the political narrative.
Notably, the Trinamool Congress was scheduled to launch its manifesto on Sunday, which has been put off until Mamata returns to Kolkata on March 17.