BJP blames TMC govt for Bengal panchayat poll violence

New Delhi: The BJP on Friday blamed the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal for the violence during the nomination process for the panchayat polls, calling it “a very dark chapter” in the democratic history of the country.

It alleged that the State Election Commission and the police remained unresponsive to the incidents of violence which indicate how the TMC government has taken “the system” into its hand.

The party demanded that the Mamata Banerjee government and the State Election Commission fulfil their constitutional responsibilities.

At least three persons were shot dead and several others injured in violence in the state on the last day of nomination filing on Thursday.

Several incidents of clashes were reported from different parts of the state as the police had a harrowing time controlling the situation.

“The kind of violent scenes that are being seen in the panchayat elections of West Bengal are extremely painful. There is violence all around,” BJP national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sudhanshu Trivedi told a press conference at the party headquarters here.

Even more disappointing is the “insensitivity” of the TMC government towards the incidents of violence that took place on the last day of filing of nominations on Thursday, he said.

Trivedi claimed that several BJP workers faced fatal attacks on the last day of filing nominations but both the state government and the state election commission remained inactive towards these incidents.

“The way the West Bengal government and the state police are behaving, this is going to be remembered as a very dark chapter in the democratic and electoral history of the country,” he charged.

The BJP leaders termed the prevailing situation in West Bengal “unfortunate”. “We have a list of 25-30 incidents in which our party workers were injured in fatal attacks,” he said.

“I want to say this to the Trinamool government and Mamata ji that this game of violence that you are playing, the communist government used to do the same… Look at their condition today,” the BJP leader added.

Trivedi demanded that the state government must fulfil its “constitutional responsibility”.

“The state election commission is not fulfilling its responsibility. It should also fulfil its constitutional responsibility,” he added.

The BJP leader also raised questions on the filing of nominations by TMC candidates.

“There are 341 blocks in Bengal. Here on the last day, within 4 hours more than 40,000 TMC candidates filed nominations that too in 340 blocks… That means the average timing of filing of nomination per person was 2 minutes,” he alleged.

“Filing of nomination at such a pace shows how the government has taken the system into its own hands,” the BJP leader charged, asking, “Is it not a mockery of democracy?” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday asserted that the panchayat poll nomination process in Bengal is peaceful, while slamming opposition parties for trying to make an issue out of “one or two stray” incidents.

Banerjee’s comments came shortly after Governor C V Ananda Bose said that political violence in the state must come to an end, after visiting Bhangore, where supporters of two parties clashed a day before, leaving three dead.