Narendra Modi spoke to West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, expressing anguish over the rise in political violence after Trinamool Congress won the election while BJP chief J P Nadda visited the state to meet families of party workers killed in retribution, allegedly by ruling party supporters.
More than 12 people have been reportedly killed and many attacked while several families have fled their homes, according to BJP. “PM called and expressed his serious anguish and concern at the alarmingly worrisome law and order situation. I share grave concerns given that violence, vandalism, arson, loot and killings continue unabated. Concerned must act in overdrive to restore order,” Dhankhar tweeted.
Accusing BJP of “growing desperate for President’s rule” and instigating the postpoll “communal clashes” that have also claimed five TMC workers and one from the ISF, Mamata Banerjee vowed to “tackle the situation” after taking oath on Wednesday.
Modi’s phone call and Nadda’s visit followed appeals for help from BJP cadres and supporters, who took to social media platforms accusing Trinamool Congress of patronizing the attackers. BJP state in-charge Kailash Vijayavargiya tweeted videos alleging that women supporters were being attacked.
Nadda said after visiting a slain BJP worker’s “wailing mother” he was shocked at some in TMC “discounting these incidents as stunts”. BJP asked its national secretaries to reach out to all families “battered in this unprecedented state-sponsored violence”.
Wondering if the “gruesome violence” was part of “TMC’s victory celebrations”, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury said this would be “resisted and rebuffed”. Congress’s Jitin Prasada said Bengal “did not vote for this lawlessness”.
“You (CM Mamata Banerjee) are a woman and daughter of Bengal. Aren’t the women who are being killed and raped daughters of Bengal? Do they deserve this?” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked.
“BJP won’t relent till Mamata Banerjee is held accountable for the murders of its workers and supporters for political vendetta. We are in Pratapnagar, Sonarpur with BJP president Naddaji to take stock of the situation and initiate action,” party general secretary Bhupender Yadav tweeted.
“The liberal cabal is silent over the carnage BJP is being subjected to in Bengal. Not shocking. Not surprising. But the same cabal blaming BJP for the violence is appalling. Your silence is complicity,” he added.
BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, who contested unsuccessfully from Tarkeshwar, urged the Calcutta high court to take suo motu cognizance of the violence.