In Photo: The Congress gathering at R R Avenue in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Kolkata, 08 September: THE CONGRESS’ protest march to Bengal state secretariat Nabanna on Tuesday afternoon ended at Esplanade itself with an hour long road blockade and burning of police barricades by the participants.
The net result: traffic snarl on busy thoroughfares such as J L Nehru Road, S N Banerjee Road, Esplanade East and Lenin Sarani, resulting in severe inconvenience to people in the run up to the coming festive season.
The scene is likely to repeat on Wednesday when the Left parties hit the Kolkata streets, demonstrating against hike in power tariff and serve a memorandum to the Governor at the Raj Bhavan. The Left will hold a central public meeting in front of the CESC headquarters at Esplanade on 10 August on the same issue.
The Congress’ protest march today that was convened against the alleged deterioration in Bengal’s law and order and atrocities on Opposition political workers by the police and ruling Trinamool activists, was to set out for Nabanna at 1 pm from R R Avenue, Howrah station and Satragachi.
Accordingly, the Congress workers began to assemble from 12 noon. But the march could not proceed even a step towards Nabanna as the police had put up a three-tier barricade on the road to Nabanna at all the venues.
Following this, around 2.30 pm, the Bengal president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked the assembled workers, from the dais mounted on a truck, to block the road at Dorina Crossing at Esplande until some senior police officer comes to the venue to accept the Congress memorandum addressed to the DG of police.
This is even as the assemblage at Howrah and Satragachi tried in vain to topple the police barricades.
Carrying out their president’s instruction, Congress workers soon blocked the Dorina Crossing and set a few police barricades on fire. This continued for about an hour till about 3.30 pm when an additional commissioner of Kolkata Police came and collected the memorandum from Mr Chowdhury. The blockade was lifted after this but the traffic took some more time ease.
Taking a dig at the Congress agitation, Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee termed it “a destructive politics”. “Congress has lost public support and is now trying to create chaos in Bengal by following in the footsteps of the Left parties. But this will further their doom,” he told reporters.