West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday unveiled a new bust of 19th century Bengal Renaisance icon Iswhar Chandra Vidyasagar at a college in Kolkata a month after the old one was vandalized during a roadshow of BJP president Amit Shah. She also unveiled an 8.5-ft pristine white fibre-glass statue of Vidyasagar in the courtyard of the college.
After unveiling the bust near Hare school, which was then transferred to Vidyasagar College, Mamata said altogether 10 people were killed in post-poll violence in the state and eight of them belonged to her party Trinamool Congress and two to BJP. "Every death is unfortunate. I will ask the chief secretary to provide assistance from the disaster management fund to the families of all the 10 deceased," she said.
Post-poll violence has been reported from various places of West Bengal after the BJP secured 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, just four less than that of Trinamool. All the cases will be investigated, the chief minister said. Claiming that BJP is "planning to change Bengal into Gujarat", Mamata said "I am ready to go to jail but will not allow it to happen."
Eminent poets, writers and senior ministers were present when the bust of Vidyasagar was unveiled. The breaking of the earlier bust had triggered to bitter recrimination with both Mamata and Shah accusing each other's party workers of vandalism that took place a few days before the final phase of polling in parliamentary elections on May 19.