TMC cutting off water, power supplies in areas where it was losing in polls: BJP | Kolkata - Hindustan Times

TMC cutting off water, power supplies in areas where it was losing in polls: BJP

Jun 20, 2024 08:04 PM IST

Soon after the results, allegations surfaced that the TMC-led municipality had stopped water supply and disconnected street lights at Gangarampur in Balurghat Lok Sabha constituency

Kolkata: Ajay Kumar Poddar, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Kulti in West Midnapore district, on June 16, staged a sit-in demonstration while blocking the GT Road along with a group of his party supporters, alleging that the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-run Asansol Municipal Corporation has stopped supplying adequate drinking water in the area after the BJP got the lead in the recently held Lok Sabha polls.

 (Representative Photo)
(Representative Photo)

“Every summer, Asansol civic area faces a water crisis. This year, it shot up after the Lok Sabha election results were declared. Even though TMC won the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency by more than 59,000 votes, the BJP took the lead in the Kulti assembly seat,” Poddar said.

“If earlier water used to come for one hour, now it is being supplied for 15-20 minutes. Earlier, if three tankers used to come a day in an area, now only one tanker is coming. Even the garbage is not being cleared in some wards over the last 15 days,” he alleged. 

The TMC, however, has rubbished the allegations, saying that the BJP was losing ground and was trying to stay afloat by making such wild allegations.

“These are baseless allegations. The TMC was also lagging in the Asansol South assembly seat. No such allegations surfaced from there. The BJP knows it is losing ground and hence, trying to stay relevant by making such allegations and drama. There was some temporary crisis because of power cuts,” Asansol Mayor Bidhan Upadhyay earlier told reporters.

This is not the only incident where such allegations of water supply, electricity and even ration are being stopped to pockets where the BJP was leading in the recently held Lok Sabha polls.

Soon after the results, allegations surfaced that the TMC-led municipality had stopped water supply and disconnected street lights at Gangarampur in Balurghat Lok Sabha constituency. BJP’s state president and sitting MP Sukanta Majumdar had won from Balurghat defeating TMC’s Biplab Mitra by around 10,000 votes. Mitra is the brother of Prasanta Mitra, chairperson of the Gangarampur Municipality.

Hitting out at the TMC, state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya alleged that the ruling party was targeting those areas where the BJP got the lead during polls. “Development activities are being stalled. Even rations are being stopped at the houses. Allegations of ration being stopped have come from Deyganga. Auto-rickshaw drivers are not allowed to run their vehicles. Shops are being locked and ransacked,” he claimed.  

“It is not just the BJP workers. But even those who voted for the BJP are being targeted silently. Their means of livelihood are being snatched, they are being denied their basic rights and even ration is being stopped. These attacks have the full blessings of the chief minister,” Bhattacharya said.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, the BJP’s tally in West Bengal dropped from 18 seats in 2019 to 12 this year. The party had set a target to win 35 seats in the Lok Sabha polls. The TMC’s tally increased from 22 seats in 2019 to 29.  

The state witnessed massive post-poll clashes in May 2021 after the results of the assembly elections were declared and the TMC returned to power for the third time in a row. 

“This time too reports of post-poll violence are coming in from multiple pockets. But apart from the violence, other forms of threats and intimidation are used to force voters to compromise. Stopping water, disconnecting electricity, not allowing to take ration etc. All these are being done to force voters to come under the banner of the ruling party,” said Biswanath Chakraborty, a political commentator. 

With post-poll clashes still ongoing, Suvendu Adhikari, leader of the Opposition in the legislative assembly, met Governor CV Ananda Bose and urged him to ensure Central Armed Police Forces deployment till Durga puja in October. The election commission had earlier decided to retain around 400 companies till June 19.

Recently, incidents of post-poll violence were reported from several pockets of West Bengal, including Asansol, Howrah, Bhangar, Ghatal, Konnanar, Basirhat, Jhargram and Kolkata 

Responding to BJP’s allegations, TMC MP Santanu Sen said that despite losing some seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2021 assembly polls, chief minister Mamata Banerjee continued with her development projects in all areas without any discrimination. “On the contrary, the BJP started depriving Bengal of all the central funds after it failed to come to power in 2021. BJP’s allegations are baseless and a false narrative is being created to malign Bengal,” he said.

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