Mamata Banerjee, in a video message from a hospital in Kolkata a day after alleging an attack at Nandigram, said she was injured when a crowd pressed into her but did not repeat allegations of a conspiracy. "I appeal to everyone to be calm and maintain restraint, and to not do anything that will inconvenience people," said the Bengal Chief Minister in a video message from her hospital bed on Thursday.
Her leg in a cast, Mamata Banerjee spoke about her injuries and said she would have to resume her campaign for the Bengal election in a wheelchair but noticeably did not refer to her charge that four or five people had attacked her.
"It is true that I was badly hurt. I was injured in my arm, leg. There were bone injuries... ligament injuries. I suffered chest pain... I was greeting people from the car bonnet and the crowd pressed into me, the entire pressure was on me. My leg was crushed. I was given medicines and taken to Kolkata..my treatment is on," she said.
"I will be back in two-three days. My leg injury will remain a problem but I will manage. I won't let it affect my meetings but I will have to move around in a wheelchair, for that I will need your support," said the Chief Minister, who has signed up for one of her toughest election contests in Nandigram, where her BJP rival for the state polls is her former trusted aide Suvendu Adhikari.
The difference in what Ms Banerjee said on Wednesday and on Thursday was seized by the BJP as a sign that the Chief Minister had been faking it all along.
Last evening, after filing her election papers at Nandigram, she was at a market greeting people while standing on the footboard of her car when the crowd pressed against her door, which may have slammed into her leg and hips, causing her injuries.
Though she did not refer to her allegations of being attacked in Nandigram, the Trinamool Congress party wrote to the Election Commission alleging "a deep-rooted conspiracy to take the life" of its chief and linking it to the abrupt removal of the Bengal police chief a day before, for which it has blamed the BJP.
Calling it a "gruesome attack" on the Chief Minister, the Trinamool Congress said an attempt was made on her life "within 24 hours of the removal of the Bengal police chief" by the Election Commission without the state government being consulted. The party alleged a "nexus" between the BJP's complaints against the sacked police chief and the police being absent at the time of the incident.
A Trinamool delegation will also meet with the Election Commission today and share photos of the incident, the party said. "We are surprised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ignored the attack on Mamata Banerjee. There is not a single comment by the PM on the Chief Minister," said senior Trinamool MP Sougata Roy, adding .
The BJP, which has been accusing Ms Banerjee of feigning an attack to gain public sympathy in a losing battle, also urged the Election Commission to order a high level investigation into Ms Banerjee's allegations and to release video footage of the incident to establish what really happened.