Thousands of Congress activists on Tuesday hit the streets protesting against the deteriorating law and order in West Bengal, bringing the central business district to a grinding halt for over two hours.
Participating in a “March to Nabanna (the state secretariat)”, the Congress workers led by all senior leaders of the state party unit staged a sit-in on the vital Rani Rashmoni Road after the state Director General of Police G.M.P. Reddy declined to accept a deputation on law and order as also on the killing of the student in West Midnapore district.
Twelve days after a similar protest programme organised by the Left triggered violence on the streets of Kolkata, the Congress agitation sparked tension as its workers led by state party chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury refused to vacate the area unless their memorandum was accepted.
They dispersed only after Kolkata Police’s Additional Commissioner of Police R. Sivakumar came forward and accepted the memorandum from the party leadership.
Riven by factional feuds, the protest was meant to be a united show of strength by the Congress with almost all senior leaders and MPs taking part. Jangipur MP and President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit, Malda (South) Lok Sabha member Mousam Benajir Noor and parliamentarian from Malda North consitutency A.H. Khan Chowdhury, besides Rajya Sabha member Pradipo Bhattacharya, were present.
However, former MP Deepa Dasmunshi and another veteran leader Abdul Mannan were conspicuous by their absence.
Addressing the gathering, the state party president said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was allergic to protests and dubbed anyone who oppose the anarchy in the state as “anti-development”.
“She has made it clear to police that they have to either work for her Trinamool Congress or leave the post,” he said.