TMC protesters on way to Delhi in buses; several injured in mishap in Jharkhand

One of the 49 buses careened and went down to a field behind the highway

TMC supporters boarding a bus in Kolkata before leaving for Delhi to take part in a protest | PTI TMC supporters boarding a bus in Kolkata before leaving for Delhi to take part in a protest | PTI

Several Trinamool Congress workers were injured when one of the 49 buses taking them from West Bengal to Delhi to take part in a protest programme met with an accident in Jharkhand on Sunday.

The bus careened and went down to a field behind the highway, leaving a few passengers slightly injured. Its occupants were brought back to Purulia town in West Bengal for medical treatment, a party leader said.

The TMC asserted that as the Railways did not allot a special train, the party was taking 49 bus-load of protesters to Delhi to demand the state's dues from the BJP-led central government under the 100-day job guarantee programme under MGNREGA.

Following the accident, senior West Bengal minister Shashi Panja accused the BJP of forcing the ruling party in Bengal to arrange buses as a special train was not allotted.

"Check your hands @Dr SukantaBJP, they're red with the blood of those injured," she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

BJP West Bengal president Sukanta Majumdar claimed that while TMC leaders were travelling by aeroplanes, the protesters were being made to take buses to Delhi.

"The way TMC leaders are enjoying the luxury of flights and pushed these innocent people to the brink of life risk is condemnable," he wrote on X.

TMC MP Sougata Roy alleged that the ruling BJP at the Centre is trying to foil the TMC's protests by way of denial of train bookings and cancellations of flights.

"People of the country should see how the BJP is trying to thwart our programme," he told reporters.

The Eastern Railway has contended that it received the request from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the unavailability of rakes was the reason behind denial of the special train.

A TMC leader said that the buses, which left Kolkata and other districts of West Bengal on Saturday night, are scheduled to reach Delhi by early Monday.

The TMC plans to hold a sit-in by its MPs and state ministers at Rajghat on October 2, and a rally of MGNREGA job card holders the next day.

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee asserted on Saturday that the TMC cannot be scared off from its political programmes through summons by central agencies, and vowed to go ahead with the protests in Delhi.

The Diamond Harbour MP has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on October 3 in connection with its ongoing investigation into the alleged school jobs scam.

Banerjee claimed that the Centre was trying to "crush" the movement of the poor people of West Bengal in Delhi by cancelling trains and "deploying the ED and CBI". 

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