Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Asansol, Babul Supriyo, has demanded imposition of President’s rule in West Bengal in the wake of the violence during panchayat elections in the state. Speaking to news agency ANI, Supriyo termed Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West Bengal as shameless.
He said that the West Bengal government could not be expected to follow any kind of constitutional behaviour. “Not surprised by all the incidents that are happening since morning. Bengal govt is a shameless govt, you cannot expect them to follow any kind of constitutional behaviour. I demand President's Rule in West Bengal,” said the BJP MP.
This remark by the singer-turned-politician came even as at least four people died in different parts of West Bengal as polling continued for the panchayat elections. Reports of clashes and booth capturing came in from South 24 Parganas, West Midnapore and Cooch Behar districts.
More than 20 people also suffered injuries during the clashes while media vehicles were also torched amid political violence. The Opposition alleged that members of the ruling Trinamool Congress are not letting voters enter poll booths.
In north Bengal's Jalpaiguri, Minister in-charge of north Bengal development, Rabindranath Ghosh, was accused of slapping a Bharatiya Janata Party polling agent and forcing him out of the polling premises.
The SEC sought a report from the Jalpaiguri District Magistrate regarding the incident. The Minister, however, denied all allegations.
Incidents of violence took place in East Midnapore district's Panskura and West Midnapore district's Keshpur where gun totting miscreants gathered outside the polling stations and beat up the voters.
The dates of state rural polls were initially declared on May 1, 3 and 5 but as the nomination process started in April, all the opposition parties accused the Trinamool of indulging in strongarm tactics to prevent them from filing nominations.
The matter reached the Calcutta High Court, that subsequently stayed the polling process and asked the SEC to extend nomination deadline and announce fresh election schedule.
More bitter legal battles followed, at the end of which the SEC declared May 14 as the new polling date.
(With IANS inputs)