A day after West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said that he wishes to work in tandem with the State, he attacked the Mamata Banerjee-led government saying explosives are freely available in the State.
“Violence should not be allowed in Kolkata and West Bengal which are famous for their cultural heritage. In this scenario, how can we have explosions? It pains me whenever there is a blast, because someone or the other is affected badly. This proves that this part is a free business area for explosives. How can elections take place in a non-violent manner?” questioned the Governor.
West Bengal has a history of being marred by sporadic violence in elections, be it the Lok Sabha elections, Assembly elections or Panchayat elections. Major elections have been held in more than 5 phases in recent times amid proper deployment of security forces to curb violence. Ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections, civic body elections to 110 municipalities including Kolkata Municipal Corporation(KMC) are expected in West Bengal around April this year. These elections are also likely to be held in phases.
The upcoming elections will serve as a litmus test for the Assembly elections next year. While Trinamool Congress (TMC) is trying to hold on to its seat of power, the BJP is hopeful of gaining more seats in the civic body and Assembly elections, after seeing their steep rise in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
After his comments on violence in the State, the Governor, however, went on to reiterate what he said on Saturday. “We all have to work in one direction for the state of West Bengal. Peace and non- violence, all-round happiness. No atmosphere of confrontation,” added the Governor.
The Governor and TMC Government have been at loggerheads on various issues including the recent countrywide protests on Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), National Register of Citizenship(NRC) and National Population Register(NPR). While TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has been vocal against the issue, the Governor has appeared to support the BJP-led Centre on the issue. However, ahead of the State budget, the Governor read out the speech in the State Assembly which spoke about fear and intolerance in the country in the wake of CAA, NRC and NPR. The speech was given to the Governor by the TMC government to which no changes were made by the Governor.