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West Bengal BJP delegation meets Venkaiah, Rajnath over pre-poll violence

Bengal BJP leaders accuse chief minister Mamata Banerjee of ‘murdering democracy’.

kolkata Updated: Apr 26, 2018 19:04 IST
Indo Asian News Service, New Delhi
West Bengal,BJP,Panchayat poll
BJP leaders, including general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya (pictured), submitted a memorandum to vice president Venkaiah Naidu appealing him to take cognizance of pre-poll violence in West Bengal.(HT/File Photo)

A BJP delegation led by its leaders from West Bengal on Thursday met vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu and union home minister Rajnath Singh to apprise them of the ongoing violence in the state ahead of the upcoming panchayat polls.

The BJP leaders, including general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, secretary Rahul Sinha, Rajya Sabha member Rupa Ganguly and Mukul Roy, submitted a memorandum to Naidu appealing him to take serious cognizance.

“Democracy is being slaughtered in West Bengal and we appeal to your high office to take cognizance of this acute assault on democracy by the ruling Trinamool Congress. Lives, democratic rights, democratic space, Constitutional machinery and freedom are not safe anymore in the state,” the memorandum read.

Later, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in the presence of victims of pre-poll violence, former railway minister Mukul Roy said chief minister Mamata Banerjee has killed democracy in West Bengal.

“Bengal is quite different from other states. In other states, nobody raises a finger on democracy either in civic body or general elections. But in Bengal, Mamata has made a mockery of democracy,” he said.

Attacking Banerjee, Roy said she has encouraged Trinamool Congress workers to create law and order problem across the state and intimidate candidates from other parties to stop them from filing their nominations.

“The BDO and SDO offices were totally blocked by Trinamool goons under the command of Mamata Banerjee. Mamata was the designated home minister. She has instructed all SPs, BDOs and DMs not to intervene, so police kept mum,” he said.

As per an announcement by the State Election Commission (SEC) on March 31, the dates for the three-phase polls were May 1, May 3 and May 5, with the last date of nomination being April 9. But several non-TMC candidates failed to file their nominations.

Roy said after the intervention of the Supreme Court and Calcutta high court, the SEC extended the last date of filing nomination by a day.

“But the order was passed after 9 pm and on April 10 morning, we saw it was withdrawn,” he said.

Rahul Sinha said that during the meeting with Rajnath Singh, they asked him to intervene into the matter. “The home minister has assured us of every possible action under the jurisdiction of the Constitution. The vice president said he would refer the matter to the President.”

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 19:04 IST