The Opposition will have to be prepared for many more 'meltdowns' in the wake of the drubbing they received in the recent Assembly elections, said Modi.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday asserted that the panchayat poll nomination process was peaceful, and slammed the opposition parties for trying to create an issue over some sporadic incidents.
Questioning the Opposition parties over alleging violence in polls, Banerjee drew comparisons between CPI(M) rule and her governance as well as between West Bengal and other states while giving evidence of nominations filed by the political parties. “2.31 lakh nominations for the panchayat election were filed till yesterday, out of this 82,000 nominations were by Trinamool Congress and 1-1.5 lakh nominations were filed by other parties,” she said.
Banerjee criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for demanding the deployment of Central Forces in Bengal and said, “Today, Bam (Left) any Ram (BJP) or Shyam (Congress) are going out and asking for Central Forces deployment in Bengal, and blaming TMC for violence. Show me one state where so many nominations for the Panchayat Polls were allowed so peacefully.”
She challenged anyone to find another state where the panchayat poll nominations were allowed to proceed as peacefully as in Bengal.
“She said I have always helped Bengal, be it during Amphan or Yaas. I have stood for you during the train accident in Gosaba, Murshidabad and provided the victims with 5 Lakhs compensation and Government jobs,” she added.
There is no other state other than Bengal where the panchayat poll nomination process is so peaceful.
The nomination process for the panchayat elections had previously been marred by violence in the Bhangar area of South 24 Parganas district, where the ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition parties engaged in a war of words.
Mamata said, “In Bhangar, the violence was done by goons, and TMC has nothing to do with it. We lost two of our workers there.”
TMC supremo’s remarks came while she was addressing the culminating session of party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee led the two-month-long ‘Jono Sanjog Yatra’.
Banerjee’s comments came after Governor C V Ananda Bose visited Bhangar to assess the impact of violence.
After interacting with the victims of the violence, the West Bengal Governor assured that the perpetrators of violence would be silenced permanently under the law of the land.
He further added that the people of West Bengal have the right to exercise their right to vote without fearing anyone.
“I interacted with the victims of violence and locals. I can assure the people of Bengal that violence will be the first victim in this election. The perpetrators of violence will be silenced permanently under the Constitution and laws of the land. The peace-loving people of Bengal have a right to exercise their franchise unfearful of anybody else,” said West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose.
“Those who are saying that there is no peace in Bengal today, I would like to ask them – how was it during CPI(M) rule? Congress has had a government in several states, they want our support in the Parliament. We are ready to support them in opposing BJP. But they should not come to us to seek support in Bengal after joining hands with CPI(M),” she said.
Earlier on Thursday, while reacting to the incident, he said “effective and corrective” action will be taken against those responsible.
To maintain order, heavy security deployments have been made in the South 24 Parganas district. Tension and unease prevailed in several areas, particularly in the Bhangar block, where clashes between supporters of the ruling TMC and the Naushad Siddiqui-led Indian Secular Front (ISF) have occurred over the past two days.
The panchayat elections in West Bengal will be held in a single phase on July 8, with the counting of votes scheduled for July 11.
The panchayat polls in West Bengal are likely to see a fierce contest between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress, which is being touted as a litmus test for both parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.