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West Bengal elections: Mamata hopes to be back on campaign trail — in wheelchair

In a video message from SSKM Hospital in Kolkata where she is admitted, Banerjee urged her party cadres to remain calm and not to do anything that could trouble the common people.

Her left foot in a plaster cast and doctors saying she is in “immense” pain following a fall in Nandigram a day earlier, TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Thursday that she hopes to recover soon and may use a wheelchair to campaign for the Assembly elections starting March 27.

In a video message from SSKM Hospital in Kolkata where she is admitted, Banerjee urged her party cadres to remain calm and not to do anything that could trouble the common people.

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Her appeal came on the day East Medinipur district authorities visited the site in Nandigram where the Chief Minister sustained injuries. The Election Commission, sources said, has sought a report on the incident by Friday.

On Wednesday, hours after she filed her nomination papers for the Nandigram assembly seat, Banerjee said she was targeted by a group of “four or five people, who pushed her” outside a temple where she had stopped to offer prayers. She cut short her visit and returned to Kolkata, where she was admitted at the SSKM Hospital. The Chief Minister and the TMC pointed to a conspiracy while the BJP alleged that this was “tactics to gain sympathy”.

On Thursday, DGP Niraj Nayan Pandey told The Indian Express over phone: “District authorities and ADG (west zone) will submit a report, only after which we will be able to say anything. It will be submitted soon. It is now the subject of an investigation.”

Sources said district officials and police have visited the site.

East Medinipur DM Vibhu Goyal said: “It is not clear yet (on what exactly happened). We have spoken to a few eyewitnesses, no proper video footage is available. People are giving different statements too.”

In her video message, Banerjee said she has a ligament injury. “I appeal to all the people to keep calm. Do not indulge in anything that will trouble the common people. I hope I will recover soon.” She said she may have to use a wheelchair.

According to the SSKM Hospital, a medical board comprising six senior doctors has reviewed her condition. She has a soft tissue ligament injury, doctors said.

“She is stable. The level of sodium in her body is a little low. She has a plaster cast on the left foot with bony injury. There is immense pain on the foot. Board will further do some radiological investigation,” Dr Manimoy Bandopadhya, Director of SSKM Hospital, said.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders, including former Tripura and Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy and West Bengal BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya, reached the SSKM Hospital to meet the Chief Minister, but were denied a visit.

“We wanted to meet her but as per doctor’s advice, we were not allowed. We met the Director of SSKM and TMC leader Arup Biswas. We wish the Chief Minister a speedy recovery,” Tathagata Roy said.

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