Kolkata: In what appears to be his first confrontation with the third Trinamul Congress ministry in West Bengal, state governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday accused the Mamata Banerjee government of not arranging his visits to the post-poll violence-hit parts of the state.
Mr Dhankhar vowed to go ahead with his planned visits on his own as Nandigram BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari took a swipe at the chief over the post-poll violence after he became the new Leader of the Opposition.
At Raj Bhavan, the governor alleged: “We are in a very deep crisis in the state. Post-poll retributive violence, acts of arson and loot have graded to intimidation and extortion. This is very worrisome. I therefore decided to visit the affected parts of the state as part of my constitutional duty. I asked the state government to make arrangements. Unfortunately, the response has not been very responsive. I will go ahead with my schedule. This is the time for me to perform my constitutional duty to share the pain, agony and anguish of the suffering people, and will therefore make arrangements for such visits in the coming days.”
He claimed: “The most alarming situation, the most concerning facet of this violence, is that in democracy the people are made to pay the price with their lives, rights and human rights because they chose to vote. If your vote becomes the cause of your death, destruction of your property, you are subjected to loot, arson, coercion, intimidation, it is the end of democracy. The Constitution cannot be taken to be functioning and democracy cannot flourish if people are made to suffer because they chose to vote in a particular way. This is very serious. There is anguish, anger, concern about what is happening in the land of culture.”
At the BJP office, Mr Adhikari, elected as Leader of the Opposition with the support of 22 MLAs of his party, said: “The present Assembly has three features. One of them is that a defeated candidate has become a CM. This never happened in the history of the state after Independence. Besides, several lakhs of people have been homeless due to post-poll violence because they belong to a particular community.”
Mr Adhikari added: “It is often heard that people from another country take refuge in Assam. But now an instance of people from one state taking refuge in another has been created. Facing attacks, people from Cooch Behar fled to Assam and have been put up at refugee camps there. Nothing can be worse than this. At Sabang in West Midnapore, a village has been devastated in violence because its residents voted for the BJP. So my pledge is to bring peace in Bengal.”