'Signals end of democracy': Bengal governor spotlights post-poll violence
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Monday said that the state is embroiled in violence after the assembly elections which concluded on May 2, in which chief minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) emerged victorious. The governor said that the real ground situation has been masked and the elected government will have to address the grim reality, reported news agency ANI.
"Post poll, we are in a deep crisis in the state. The retributive violence and acts of arson, loot now have graduated to intimidation and extortion. This is worrisome," Dhankar was quoted as saying by ANI.
The governor's comments come shortly after he administered the oath of office and secrecy to 43 ministers who will be part of the third cabinet of the Mamata Banerjee government.
Asking Mamata's government to engage in soul searching, Dhankar said, "All is well, there’s no violence (is being projected) but the ground situation is otherwise. I expect state government to engage in soul searching, address grim ground reality and book the culprits who have chosen to tarnish our democratic fabric."
"If your vote becomes a cause of your death or property destruction, if it leads to arson, then that signals the end of democracy," he said.
Governor Dhankar has alleged that the state government has not made arrangements for his visit to affected parts in Bengal.
"As part of my constitutional duty, I've decided to visit affected parts in state and asked the government to make arrangements. Unfortunately, their response hasn't been very responsive," the Governor said.
I'll go ahead with my schedule and make arrangements for my visit in the coming days, he told ANI.
Clashes were reported from several places in Bengal following the declaration of assembly election results on May 2. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee recently said at least 16 people have lost their lives in post-poll violence.