"Undeclared emergency has been declared in Bengal"
| Wednesday | 22nd May, 2019
According to sources, the party`s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O`Brien - who was part of an opposition delegation to meet the EC in New Delhi on Tuesday - raised this issue separately. Sources said O`Brien told the EC that his party has been repeatedly highlighting the role of central forces with photographic and video evidence.
KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress on Tuesday told the Election Commission of India that an "undeclared emergency has been declared in Bengal" and questioned the poll panel`s move to keep 200 companies of central forces at the state`s disposal days after defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman reportedly said that central forces are going to stay back in Bengal till May 27. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly questioned the role of central forces deployed in Bengal and accused them of "torture and intimidation".
According to sources, the party`s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O`Brien - who was part of an opposition delegation to meet the EC in New Delhi on Tuesday - raised this issue separately. Sources said O`Brien told the EC that his party has been repeatedly highlighting the role of central forces with photographic and video evidence. "There have been instances when central forces were heard telling voters to vote for BJP. The central forces were seen assaulting children and physically disabled persons.
In several instances, they also opened fire," a source said, citing O`Brien`s representation."A BJP minister announced that central forces will be in Bengal for one more week. Has Emergency been declared by BJP in Bengal? Why special rules for Bengal? This is unacceptable," O`Brien was quoted as telling the EC.
Addressing a press conference on May 19, defence minister Sitharaman had said that BJP was concerned that voters were being intimidated and genuine voters not being allowed to cast their votes. "To address these issues, BJP demands that the central security forces be deployed in the state till the model code of conduct is in force," she had said. Sources said that some central forces would have normally stayed in the state till counting of votes on May 23. The MCC is in force till elections are over. According to TMC sources, the Bengal government had been protesting the Centre`s move to recall 39 companies of central forces deployed in the Maoist corridor of West Midnapore-Purulia-Bankura ahead of polls. The seven companies of central forces deployed in Darjeeling were also withdrawn before the MHA reportedly decided to redeploy them for the first two phases of elections.
"Law and order is a state subject. The state government`s inputs are not being considered while making such decisions. How can the defence minister know beforehand on the duration of stay of central forces in Bengal?" a Trinamool leader asked. A BJP delegation on Tuesday met Governor K N Tripathi to lodge a complaint about post-poll violence in Bengal and demanded deployment of Army in parts of the state to control the situation. The team, led by state party president Dilip Ghosh, met Tripathi at Raj Bhavan and demanded immediate action to stop the violence." The way TMC has let loose its goons, it seems they want to create an atmosphere of anarchy in Bengal. If such a situation continues, the Centre should immediately intervene to control the situation. If needed, let Army be called in to control the situation in Bhatpara. The police is acting like cadres of TMC," Ghosh said."The governor gave us a patient hearing and assured that he would look into the matter," Ghosh claimed. Not just Bhatpara, in several parts of north Bengal too TMC has let loose violence against us, he added.
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