The Congress in Tripura has accused the ruling BJP of attacking its Lok Sabha candidate from West Tripura constituency, Subal Bhowmik, when he was on his way to Agartala from Sipahijala. BJP has denied the allegations.
Mr Bhowmik, who recently quit the BJP to join Congress, claimed that a group of 50 activists of the BJP tried to block his way and damage his car on Thursday night.
"I had a meeting scheduled at Indiranagar village in Sipahijala district last night. As soon as I left the venue, a group of more than 50 activists of the BJP tried to attack me and damage my car. However, the police came to my rescue and dispersed them," he said.
The Congress had arranged for a meeting at local leader Idris Mia's residence in the district, where 70 activists of the CPI (M) joined the party.
Corroborating Subal Bhowmik's claims, Idris Mia said, "When he left my house, the BJP activists wasted no time in attacking him. We all resisted, and the police also managed to push them back."
Poluram Das, the officer-in-charge of Melaghar police station, said a team of officers deployed in the area sprang into action as soon as it saw a mob approaching his car.
"We had information that he could be attacked. So we deployed police officers in the area. WheN HE arrived in his car, about 50 unidentified men started hurling stones at him. We immediately dispersed them," he added.
Condemning the attack, Congress vice-president Tapas Dey said a party delegation would meet Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti to insist that a conducive environment be created in the state for free and fair polls.
"The BJP goons have let loose a reign of terror in Tripura. The atmosphere in the state has been vitiated by them. They are intimidating the Congress workers. So, we have decided to meet the CEO to lodge our protest," he told reporters in Agartala.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said today that none of his party workers was involved in the attack.
"Our activists and party members had nothing to do with yesterday's attack. If someone is found guilty of attacking Subal Bhowmik, the police should take action against him," he added.