New Delhi: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra was heckled by activists of Students Federation of India (SFI) in Delhi on Tuesday as he tried to enter the Yojna Bhawan. SFI activists shouted slogans against him and pushed him while policemen tried to pull him out of the crowd.
Upset with the protests, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had accompanied Mitra, vented her ire by blaming the Left Front for playing 'dirty politics'.
"We were not allowed to enter the Planning Commission. They Left will never come back in West Bengal, it's dirty politics," Mamata said.
According to PTI, a group of protesters waited for the Trinamool Congress chief outside the Planning Commission's office and raised slogans against her when she arrived with Mitra at 3:45 pm to meet plan panel Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Banerjee, who was advised by police not to get down from her car and drive inside, however, chose to walk through the slogan-shouting and placard-wielding crowd into the building. The protesters heckled Mitra whose kurta was torn in the melee.
Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee and Urban
Development Minister Firhad Hakim also faced the ire of the activists who were protesting the death of Sudipto Gupta, a leader of CPI(M)'s student wing SFI.
As SFI and CPI(M) members chanted "Mamata Banerjee hai hai (Mamata down down), TMC hai hai, Hatyari Mamata sharm karo (have shame, killer Mamata)", an agitated Chief Minister walked into the building shouting that "this is uncivilised behaviour".
"You know why they are protesting. I have 10 lakh people with me. I can bring them to Delhi. They don't want development of West Bengal," she said. Irked by the scene that unfolded outside, she complained to Ahluwalia, "You have created a new precedent. My minister was assaulted. This is scandalous. There were 20 hooligans. Can you stop development of a state like this?"
SFI leader Ritabrata Banerjee said, "Our protest is to show Mamata Banerjee that Sudipto Gupta's death was not a petty matter. People are deeply concerned about what is happening in West Bengal."
SFI has alleged that 22-year-old Gupta died after he was beaten up by the police which has maintained that he was killed in an accident. Banerjee had termed the incident as "unfortunate" but later called it a "petty" matter, drawing criticism from the Left.
With additional information from PTI