West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused the Centre of attempting to incite violence in the state with help from Bharatiya Janata Party workers. Banerjee alleged that the saffron party was conspiring to bring down her government, PTI reported.
Her comments came on a day the BJP observed a “black day” in the state to protest against theviolence that broke out in Sandeskhali in the Basirhat area of North 24 Parganas district on Saturday. The saffron party also declared a 12-hour bandh in Basirhat. A Trinamool Congress worker and two BJP leaders were killed in the violence. However, the BJP has claimed that five of its workers were killed, and the Trinamool Congress has said six of its workers died in the violence.
“They [BJP] are spending crores and crores of money to spread fake news through different social networking websites,” Banerjee said at a press conference at the state secretariat. She added that the Centre “cannot shrug off its responsibility” when violence or riots break out in a state.
The West Bengal chief minister claimed that inciting violence was part of the BJP’s “game plan” to stifle her voice. “...because they know that Mamata Banerjee is the only person in the country to raise voice against them,” the Trinamool Congress leader added. “This conspiracy to bring down our government will not succeed.”
Banerjee hit out at the Centre for sending her government an advisory. In the advisory, issued on Sunday, the Union government expressed “deep concern” over the violence in Sandeshkhali and asked the state government to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquillity. The state government wrote to the Centre the same day, informing it that the situation was under control and that there had been “a few stray post-poll clashes in the state”.
West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. “I have told PM Modi and the home minister about the ground situation in the state,” Tripathi told NDTV.
Banerjee has failed to maintain law and order: Mukul Roy
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Mukul Roy demanded Mamata Banerjee’s resignation, saying she had failed to maintain law and order. “She is saying that some police officers are not following orders,” he said. “If she can’t maintain law and order then she should immediately resign from her post as chief minister and home minister.”
Roy said the BJP will not ask for the government’s dismissal or seek President’s Rule even if a lawless situation prevails in the state. He alleged that Banerjee would seek sympathy votes if Article 356 is imposed.
The BJP leader alleged that miscreants from Bangladesh were infiltrating into the state and causing terror. “Since the day of [Lok Sabha] poll results nearly 10 of our party workers have been killed,” he said. “Is is not a failure of law and order? There have been elections across the country but nowhere we have seen such violence. She being the home minister is solely responsible for these killings.”
Roy dismissed the chief minister’s allegation that the BJP was behind the violence in the state. “The chief minister, home minister and party supremo are the same person [in Bengal],” he said. “So, does that mean all the decisions taken by the state government are politically motivated?”