Congress alleges attack on minister during Bengal campaign

Kolkata, July 16 (IANS) Congress leader and union minister Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury Tuesday escaped unhurt after he was shot at and a crude bomb was hurled at him during a party campaign in West Bengal's Malda district, the party alleged. However, the police and a minister denied the accusation.

State Additional Director General of Police Banibrata Basu said there was no such attack.

"I spoke to the Malda superintendent of police, who said there was no such attack. The sound that Choudhury heard was probably of bursting firecrackers," Basu said.

State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya alleged that shots were fired at Choudhury and a crude bomb was hurled at the vehicle from which the union minister of state for health was campaigning for his party candidate in the ongoing panchayat polls in Kaliachak in the district.

"Several bullets were fired and a bomb was hurled at the vehicle on which Choudhury was campaigning. Fortunately, he escaped unhurt," said Bhattacharya, alleging that the ruling Trinamool Congress was behind the attack.

"This is a conspiracy by the Trinamool to prevent us from campaigning for the polls. Despite complaints, police have failed to take any action against the culprits," added Bhattacharya.

Trinamool leader and state Tourism Minister Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury rubbished the claims of the attack on Choudhury.

"There has been no attack on Choudhury. He was under adequate security cover and no bullets were fired nor was a bomb thrown at him. He claims he only heard a sound. It is an attempt by the Congress to malign the state government," Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury said.

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