West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Centre for sending central ministers and inciting post-poll violence in the state, which had erupted shortly after the declaration of the elections results.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which swept the elections to form the government in the state for a third term, and the BJP have been accusing each other for being responsible for the ugly clashes reported from across the state.
This post-poll violence has claimed the lives of 16 people so far, the CM told the media on Thursday. Addressing a press conference, Banerjee said central ministers were coming to West Bengal to provoke riots at a time when all political activity is curbed.
“There are always some sporadic incidents after elections and that is why I announced no celebrations,” she said. And, added that not even 24 hours has passed after she has taken over as Chief Minister, and central teams and letters were being sent from the Centre.
This statement comes hours after Union Minister and BJP leader, V Muraleedharan, who had been sent by the Union Home Ministry to assess the ground situation in Bengal, was attacked in west Midnapore district. Muraleedharan had blamed “TMC goons” for the attack.
However, Banerjee has dismissed this allegation and said that since BJP bagged more seats in Cooch Behar, they were going “overboard”. The CM, who is always on a constant warpath with the Centre, asked them not send central teams for issues which do not exist.
Instead, Banerjee, who is probably still smarting from the personal attacks on her by the Modi-Shah combine, took a sharp dig at the Centre. She said scathingly that BJP leaders don’t come to the state “when people fail to get oxygen, they don’t send teams when Hathras happens”, but they send teams to Bengal.
And, the CM warned that whoever comes from outside, even if it is central ministers, it was mandatory they should take the RT-PCR test. Even if the ministers were flying in on special flights, the COVID test is a must, she added spiritedly. The Home Ministry, which has sent a four-member team to the state had asked the Bengal government twice in a letter to take necessary measures to stop the violence in the state “without any loss of time”. In a tweet, BJP chief, JP Nadda also condemned the attack on Union Minister Muraleedharan and said that violence has been in full swing in the state after the results.
Meanwhile, Banerjee has announced a ₹ 2 lakh compensation for the families of anyone who died as a result of political violence.