Kolkata: Challenging union Home Minister P Chidambaram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday shot off an angry letter to him describing as "incorrect" the figures provided by him on the number of deaths in inter-party clashes in the state.
In a virtual snub to the Trinamool Congress-led state government, Chidambaram noted Thursday during his speech at the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce that inter-party clashes were continuing in West Bengal, and said a "bullet-for-bullet" scenario had no place in a democracy.
"Yes, I have written him a letter. In the letter, I have said that the 'figures given by you are not correct. What prompted you to give this figure and from where you got this figure'," Banerjee told mediapersons at the state secretariat Writers' Buildings.
Reeling off statistics, Chidambaram had said in the first half of the current year, 82 people have been killed in 455 incidents of violence across the state.
Countering, Banerjee said in the letter that only five persons, including three Trinamool supporters, were killed in the clashes.
Soon after Chidambaram's remarks, senior Trinamool leader and state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee had reacted sharply, terming the attack as a "conspiracy" and an attempt to pressurise the state's ruling party to support Congress candidate Pranab Mukherjee for the presidential polls.
Mukherjee had said the central government was trying to give oxygen to the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
"It is an effort to put pressure on us (Trinamool) regarding the presidential election. They are trying to give oxygen to opposition CPI-M. Law and order is a state subject. This is nothing but a conspiracy against us," he retorted.
First Published: Friday, July 06, 2012, 23:09