Kolkata, Apr 4 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress today alleged that the Raj Bhavan was working “like a wing of a political party” regarding allegations that the ruling party’s workers were preventing opposition candidates from filing nominations for next month’s panchayat polls in West Bengal.
However, Governor K N Tripathi told PTI, “The governor is the guardian of the people of the state and he can take note of things happening in the state.” Demanding that the State Election Commission (SEC) be allowed to work independently, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said, “The way the Raj Bhavan is functioning unilaterally on one-sided information without taking into account the views of others, it seems as if it is working as the wing of a political party.” Chatterjee, who is also the state education minister, alleged that it is the BJP which is creating trouble and then taking refuge in the Raj Bhavan.
Accusing the saffron party of giving a one-sided picture of the happenings in the state to the governor, he said, “We (TMC) will also seek to meet the governor, possibly tomorrow itself and tell him that those indulging in violence and rioting are claiming innocence and blaming others.” State Election Commissioner A K Singh met the governor this morning and briefed him about the upcoming panchayat elections. The governor also summoned the state chief secretary who met him separately.
Chatterjee claimed that there was no truth in the opposition’s allegations of widespread violence in the districts by TMC supporters.
The opposition parties and independents together have filed more nominations than the ruling party, he said and alleged that the opposition and a section of the media were trying to create a picture that all hell has broken loose in the state.
He said while 1,614 Trinamool candidates have filed nominations for the three-tier panchayat polls due in May, the BJP has filed 1,143 nominations.
The CPI(M) has filed 351 nominations so far and the Congress has filed 127 nominations, while nearly 200 independents have also filed their papers for the polls.
“The numbers itself belie the allegations that TMC has prevented opposition candidates from filing nominations,” Chatterjee said.
Slamming the opposition for raising a hue and cry, he said “As if previous panchayat elections were held in a very clean manner.” About BJP staging a dharna at the SEC office alleging violence by Trinmool activists, Chatterjee said his party has written to the SEC seeking action against BJP state president Dilip Ghosh for “making threatening statements” against TMC leaders and activists.
“A TMC delegation will meet the state election commissioner tomorrow and seek action against Ghosh and other BJP leaders for violating the model code of conduct by making such threatening statements,” he said.
Asked about the violence at Raiganj during the day over filing of nominations, Chatterjee claimed that the BJP brought in outsiders to the north Bengal town to create trouble.
Reacting on Ghosh’s threat to move the Supreme Court over the alleged violence, Chatterjee said “They have been going from governor to the high court. Now they are saying they will go to the Supreme Court. But why don’t they go to the people’s court ?”
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.