The West Bengal governor Mr Keshari Nath Tripathi is seriously concerned with the ongoing pre-panchayat poll violence across the state and he is all set to send a report to the centre soon in this regard.
“I am seriously concerned with what is happening in connection with the panchayat polls every day in the state. Definitely, I will send a report on the pre-poll violence to the centre,” Mr Tripathi told The Statesman this afternoon when this correspondent wanted to know whether he would inform Delhi about the law and order situation in the state.
As a constitutional head the governor’s move to keep the centre updated on the incidents of violence between the ruling Trinamul Congress and opposition parties is significant at the backdrop against the state government’s indifference to the state election commission’s (SEC) recommendations to conduct polls under central forces.
The oppositions have also urged the SEC to deploy central forces to ensure free and fair polls considering safety and security of the voters in the state.
Last week, the SEC chairman Mr A K Singh while addressing in a training programme of poll observers at Sisir Mancha in the city had reportedly said saying, “There has been an attempt to create an environment of lawlessness in the state. You (observers) will keep your ears and eyes open to prevent this attempt.”
According to sources in the SEC, they are awaiting state government’s clearance whether the central forces would be deployed or not. “We have already discussed the issue with the officials of the state government that is still reluctant to call the central forces. The government thinks that state police is adequate enough to tackle the elections,” SEC sources said.
Oppositions alleged that Trinamul has already started celebrations today because it has virtually won the Zilla Parishad (ZP) with 42 seats in Birbhum districts where the oppositions could not field their candidates in 41 seats in the ZP. Similarly, the oppositions have fielded candidates in only five out of 19 gram panchayat samitis in the district.
Former Supreme Court judge Mr Ashok Ganguly alleged that democracy is in peril because of the Trinamulsponsored terror preventing the oppositions to file nominations in the rural bodies’ elections.
“As a constitutional head the governor can send report to the centre to save democracy in the state,” he felt. The governor was not also happy with the state administration for its failure to control the clash between two groups in Asansol.
He has recently written a letter to the chief minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly alleging that the intelligence failure of the police has led clash in the town. Despite the state government’s reluctance he visited the violence-hit Asansol on 31 March and wrote the letter after the on-the-spot visit.