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BJP attacks Mamata for not paying homage to former union minister



Kolkata, June 3 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday condemned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s attitude of mixing "political rivalry with death" after the state government ignored the cremation of its leader and former union minister Tapan Sikdar.

State Bharatiya Janata Party president Rahul Sinha charged Banerjee, who during the day attended a grand ceremony to felicitate Indian Premier League champion Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens, with intentionally ignoring paying homage to her former ministerial colleague.

"We believe that political rivalry should not be mixed with death. But unfortunately the chief minister either being very busy with the celebration or intentionally did not care to send either a condolence message or a floral tribute.

"All the parties barring the Trinamool Congress and the state government were physically present to pay homage. We strongly condemn her attitude," said Sinha.

A patient of chronic renal failure, Sikdar, 71 died Monday at New Delhi and was cremated here Tuesday.

Questioning the efficacy of the celebrations, Sinha also demanded a probe into the alleged baton charge by the police.

"The way she (Banerjee) is spending (money) on that programme, it does not speak of our cash strapped position. Moreover while she was celebrating inside the stadium, a number of spectators were mercilessly lathi (baton) charged by police outside for reasons best known to her.

"We condemn the attitude of the police and demand an immediate inquiry in the incident," added Sinha.

Police however, have denied the baton charge and claimed that six of its men including a senior officer were injured after being attacked by unruly spectators.

"There was no baton charging, we just chased them away whenever they tried to break barricades which might have resulted in injuries to a few of them. Six of our men including a deputy commissioner have been injured after unruly spectators pelted stones," Joint Commissioner Rajiv Mishra said.

The Congress too has condemned the baton charge and demanded a probe into it.

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