West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who was here on Friday, accused the neighbouring state’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, of “maintaining silence over the violence unleashed in the state after declaration of assembly poll results on May 2”. Dhankhar, during the day, visited a camp in Dhubri, where several families from Bengal’s Cooch Behar, claiming to be BJP supporters, have taken shelter to escape the clashes.
“There was blood-shed and genocide in the state. I should not say much as the cases are under investigation but the chief minister’s silence is a matter of concern for me,” he told reporters here. The governor also alleged that Banerjee, at her election campaigns, had “provoked her supporters, especially women, to oppose central forces by various means” “Such words do not befit a chief minister. It is extremely painful for me to see a chief minister should do this. It antithetical to the rule of law,” Dhankhar asserted.
He further said that a state government should be positive and progressive in its approach but “I don’t understand this dispensation’s constant conflict with all — the Centre, governor, Election Commission and the central forces. This is against the very soul of the Constitution”. “I had never imagined that I will have to go through such severe hurt and pain while discharging my duties as a governor. After the poll results were announced, West Bengal experienced blood-shed, arson, loot, violation of woman’s dignity and rampant vandalism,” he claimed.
Elections were held in four states and one Union Territory, but clashes were majorly reported from Bengal and that is something really unfortunate”, the governor stated. “People flee homes and take shelter in other states only when they realise they are insecure and those entrusted with ensuring their security are unable to do their job.
“The situation is such in the state that people are scared of the police, and the police scared of the ruling party (TMC) workers. Where is the rule of law?” he asked. More than 175 people from West Bengal have taken shelter at a Ranpagli school in Dhubri district, bordering the neighbouring state, official sources said.
Dhankhar sought to know why human rights activists and NGOs have not initiated any measure to reach out to those affected by post-poll violence and highlight their plight. “My hands are tied as a governor but where are the human rights activists, NGOs and journalists? Are they all wearing dark glasses?” Dhankar, who had been at loggerheads with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government since taking charge in Bengal, said.
He thanked the Assam government for “attending to people” who took shelter here. “I do not want to say much as I am not in West Bengal.
However, I would like to express my gratitude to the Assam government for taking care of our people who fled their homes under unfortunate circumstances,” Dhankhar added. Clashes had broken out in parts of Bengal, following the declaration of poll results, with both the TMC and the BJP claiming that their party members have lost lives and suffered injuries in the melee.
The TMC won the state elections, bagging 213 seats in the 294-member assembly, and the BJP managed to pocket 77 constituencies.