Kolkata: In the second such incident today, a CPI(M) delegation was denied permission to visit violence-hit Kaliachak in West Bengal's Malda district hours after a BJP team was stopped from going to the area by district authorities citing prohibitory orders.
"I along with my party leader was going to Kaliachak. It was pre-planned, but all of a sudden a huge police contingent stopped us. We were stopped at Amriti area of Malda, which is 35 km from Kaliachak... I told them that being an MP it is my duty to find the facts and talk to the people. But, they said they can't allow me," said CPI(M) lawmaker and Politburo member Mohammed Salim.
"I want to ask the administration, what are they trying to hide that they are stopping all other political parties?" he asked.
Earlier in the day a team of BJP lawmakers were denied permission to visit Kaliachak, drawing a sharp attack from the party, which accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of playing "vote bank" politics and said it would take the matter to the President.
West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress mounted a swift counteroffensive, charging the BJP with "whipping up communalism" ahead of the state assembly elections.
Violence erupted in Kaliachak on January 3 after a lakh-strong gathering of Muslim activists gathered to protest against alleged blasphemous comments by an activist of the right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, who is now in a Lucknow jail.