Three people, including a Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker, were killed when armed men threw bombs and opened fire at the vehicle of a TMC legislator at a petrol pump in Joynagar, around 55 km south of Kolkata, on Wednesday evening.
Trinamool lawmaker Biswanath Das was dropped off in the same car moments ago at the local party office. "I was the target, but because I got off at the party office I had a lucky escape," he claimed.
Local Trinamool leader Saifuddin Khan, the vehicle's driver, Babu, and a passerby died after being caught in the gunfire and bomb blasts that destroyed the SUV.
The armed men on motorbikes fled soon after the attack which happened around 7:30pm.
Some people have been detained for questioning, but no arrests have been made till now.
Biswanath Das alleged that the attack was planned and executed by members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the SUCI or Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist).
However, both the CPM and SUCI have said the attack is yet another incident of internal feud withing the Trinamool Congress.
"We have never seen anything like this in Joynagar before," said CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty. "This is Jungle Raj."
SUCI leader Tarun Naskar said: "The Trinamool has become the Trinamool's worst enemy and ordinary people are suffering."
South 24 Parganas district has seen clashes in the past between Trinamool Yuva, headed by Mamata Banerjee's nephew and Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee, and the main Trinamool party which is referred to as "Trinamool mother."