West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Monday called the situation arising out of the alleged post-poll violence in the state as “alarming and worrisome” and questioned Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her “ostrich-like” stance on the issue. Dhankhar, who embarked on a week-long visit to North Bengal earlier in the day, slammed the state government for how it dealt with complaints of violence following the assembly elections.
“I am worried about the post-poll violence happening in West Bengal after May 2. This is unacceptable. The situation in the state is alarming and worrisome. This kind of violence has put a question mark on the democratic setup. “Even after so many weeks, the state government is in denial mode. Why is the chief minister silent on this issue? The ostrich-like stance of the state administration is not acceptable,” he said.
The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, dubbed the allegations as baseless and his visit a “publicity stunt”. Dhankhar claimed that the country has never witnessed such post-poll violence since Independence.
“Elections were held in four states and a union territory. But, violence is taking place only in Bengal,” he said. Dhankhar also took a dig at Banerjee for her confrontational approach, which he said was meaningless.
“Confrontation with the Centre, the governor and all other constitutional bodies won’t serve any purpose. This approach has to be shunned.” Meanwhile, Dhankhar was shown black flags by TMC supporters on his way to Kurseong in the Darjeeling hills. “We are opposed to his visit. He has been maligning our state since the day he assumed office,” one of the supporters said.
TMC deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Sukhedu Sekhar Roy said: “He is free to go anywhere, but he should have taken the state government into confidence. This visit is nothing but a desperate attempt to be in the news, a sort of publicity stunt.” Kunal Ghosh, the party’s state general secretary rubbished the allegations of post-poll violence made by Dhankhar. “Political violence took place when the Election Commission was in charge of the polls. After the TMC government took over, the state administration initiated measures to contain it. The governor is behaving like a spokesperson of a political party,” he said.
The West Bengal BJP unit came out in support of Dhankhar and said he had exposed the truth. “The TMC is angry with him as the governor has uncovered the lawlessness in the state… And, he has every right to visit any part of the state,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said.
Dhankhar was on a four-day visit to New Delhi last week, where he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah twice and apprised him about the law and order situation in the state.
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