New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lashed out at the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal after reports emerged that at least 15 people were killed in violence that erupted on Monday, the day when polling for West Bengal panchayat polls took place. PM Modi called the incidents ‘murder of democracy’. On the other hand, the Trinamool Congress termed the PM’s statement as “outbursts of frustration”, news agency IANS reported.
Addressing workers at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s central office in New Delhi after the saffron party emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka Assembly Elections, PM Modi said, “People weren’t allowed to file nominations. People from all parties except one ruling the state have suffered. Workers of these parties were killed. This is serious. A land as great as West Bengal had to see such things. It is unfortunate.” He further asked, “Where is the spirit of democracy?”
As per news agency IANS, PM Modi further said, “It is not just about winning elections. All political parties, including civil society and judiciary, must play an active role to strengthen the democratic spirit.” He added, “I don’t want to blame anyone. I am only worried about democracy.”
On the other hand, the Trinamool Congress dismissed the charges saying that the Prime Minister had made the comments as the party was dismayed after the Karnataka Elections, which threw a fractured mandate yesterday.
“He should know that BJP goons killed 10 Trinamool workers in the panchayat polls. No BJP worker was killed. On Wednesday, repolling in 568 booths (will take place). So, why is this fake news being spread? Very unfortunate,” a statement on TMC’s official website said, quoting Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.
The statement further read, “They were dismayed because of not being able to win in Karnataka. Without knowing the details, it does not reflect well for the PM to make such comments. Most of the murders and violence have been carried out by PM’s own party. Let BJP control their own party first!”
Incidents of violence, including arson and threats, were reported from across the state on Monday as 20 districts of West Bengal voted for the panchayat polls. Counting of votes will take place on May 17.