PM Modi dials Bengal Governor, expresses concern over ‘worrisome law and order situation’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on the incidents of political violence which have rocked the state since the assembly election verdict, claiming at least 10 lives.

Governor Dhankar said the Prime Minister expressed his “serious anguish and concern at alarmingly worrisome law and order situation.”

The Governor said he shared the Prime Minister’s concerns given that violence vandalism, arson, loot and killings continue unabated.

Earlier in the day, the Governor directed the state police to put an end to the senseless political violence, vandalism, arson, killings and intimidation that “had shamed democracy”.

He said, “Such political violence and lawlessness cannot be overlooked as this taints essence of democratic fabric. Call upon people to maintain calm and peace and promote harmony.”

The BJP has said that it will hold a nationwide dharna on May 5 against the violence in which it claimed that nine of its party workers had been killed.

The BJP claimed that a few hundred party offices and houses of its workers have been ransacked across the state since the election verdict came in TMC’s favour. Party workers shared videos of alleged arson at BJP offices with bamboo poles and roof tiles burning.

BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed that houses of over 4,000 party workers were ransacked overnight and at least 100 shops were looted.

The TMC, on the other hand, claims that two of its workers were killed by BJP members.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who will stake a claim on Tuesday evening to be chief minister for a third term, said the BJP was spreading lies using old pictures of riots outside Bengal.

While appealing for calm across party lines, Mamata pointed out that until her new government is sworn in the responsibility of law and order does not rest with them, and that it is for the central forces deployed in the state to act.

In view of the violence, the Union Home Ministry had on Monday sought a report from the West Bengal government on the post-election violence targeting opposition political workers in the state.