Malda: A team of BJP MPs was Monday denied permission to visit violence-hit Kaliachak in West Bengal's Malda district.
This move drew a sharp attack from the saffron party which accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of playing "vote bank" politics and said it will take the matter to the President Pranab Mukherjee.
A fact-finding team of BJP MPs Bhupendra Yadav, Ram Vilas Vedanti and SS Ahluwalia, a BJP member of Parliament from the state, was turned back by the district authorities soon after they alighted the Gaur Express at Malda Town station at 6 AM citing prohibitory orders. Bhupendra Yadav claimed they were forced to return by Howrah-bound Shatabdi Express
SS Ahluwalia has said the team of BJP MPs will request Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to constitute a high-power committee to go into the situation in the area.
"The purpose of the visit was to console the people, to restore their confidence that something like this will not happen in future. Due to pressure from the state government, the district administration said that we cannot go there as Section 144 CrPC has been imposed," Ahluwalia said.
However, West Bengal's ruling TMC mounted a swift counteroffensive, charging the BJP with "whipping up communalism" ahead of the state assembly election.
(With agency inputs)