Just a few hours before PM Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony, a Bharatiya Janata Party worker in West Bengal was killed while putting up the party's flags in Burdwan district.
The victim was identified as 52-year-old Sushil Mondal and initial investigations showed that he was stabbed with a sharp object. BJP members in the area were quick to blame local goons linked with TMC.
"A man has died, another is accused and the common practice of political blame-game has started. We are looking into the matter," an investigating officer was quoted as saying by The Statesman.
This is the latest incident of political party workers being attacked in West Bengal. On Sunday, a BJP worker was shot dead in North 24 Parganas district. On Monday morning, the decomposed bodies of two women who were related to TMC minister Moloy Ghatak were discovered in a house in Asansol.
The death occurred during a time when tensions between BJP and Trinamool Congress are at its highest after a roadshow by Amit Shah in the state ended with both the parties coming to blows and causing ruckus just a few days before the final phase of the elections.
PM Modi had invited the families of 51 BJP workers who were killed over the past year for his oath-taking ceremony. This move caused West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee to call him out and withdrawing her rsvp to his swearing-in ceremony.
In a letter to the prime minister, Banerjee had written, "The ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party that uses it as an opportunity to score political points," citing that political violence in the state is the reason why she will not attend the oath-taking ceremony.
She added, "I am seeing media reports that the BJP are claiming 54 people have been murdered in political violence in Bengal. This is completely untrue. There have been no political murders in Bengal."