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PM promises to build statue of reformer Vidyasagar

May 17, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing a strong backlash after a statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the 19th century reformer, was broken during clashes at BJP President Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata. He has promised to install another "grand statue" at the same spot.

The BJP and Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress have accused each other of vandalising the statue, which has immense emotional value for the people of Bengal.

We saw hooliganism by TMC workers again during Bhai Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata, they vandalized Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's statue. Such people should face strong action. We are committed to Vidyasagar's vision and will install his grand statue made of panchdhatu (five metals) at the same spot. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responded saying, "Modi has promised to rebuild the Vidyasagar statue in Kolkata. Why should we take their (money? Bengal has enough resources".

A senior leader of the Trinamool Congress Derek O'Brien also sent out a strong tweet, "Modi. You pathological liar.#LowLife".

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's statue was broken at the premises of the Vidyasagar College, which was on the route of Shah's roadshow on Tuesday. Clashes broke out when students holding up posters of "Go Back Amit Shah" were attacked by men wearing saffron clothes and carrying sticks. Video clips released by the Bengal CM showed attackers breaking through the gates of the college. It is not clear which side the attackers belonged to.

Shah has accused Banerjee's own party men os breaking the statue and putting the blame on the BJP ahead of the last phase of voting in Bengal. Four constituencies in Kolkata are left to vote.

The Election Commission has also put a stop to campaigning in Bengal over the violence, and said it was "deeply anguished at the vandalism done to the statue" of an icon who.

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