For the first time in the history of West Bengal, people are asking for central forces in lieu of votes, BJP candidate from Asansol, Babul Supriyo, said coming down hard on the Trinamool Congress, alleging that it was perpetuating violence.
Supriyo seemed to agree with IAS officer Ajay V Nayak’s statement comparing the situation in the state to that in Bihar around 10 to 15 years ago.
“We have to ensure that 100 per cent booths have central forces. This is probably the first time in history that we have seen people actually agitating about central forces. They are saying give us central forces, and take our votes,” Supriyo told PTI in an interview.
A 1984-batch IAS officer, Nayak, a Bihar cadre officer was recently sent to the state to oversee the last five phases of polling.
He had told reporters, “The condition in West Bengal is quite similar to what it was in Bihar around 10 to 15 years ago. During that time in Bihar, total deployment of central forces at the booths was required. Now it is required in West Bengal as the people of West Bengal have lost faith in the state police ”
Asansol has seen sporadic violence this election season, with the worst case taking place in March when violence erupted in some areas in the wake of Ram Navami rallies when parts of the town saw stone pelting, bombs being hurled and houses and cars being set ablaze.
Supriyo claimed that every night in his constituency there have been raids on the houses of BJP supporters and even false cases have been filed against them.
More than 300 men and women marched last night in Kulti, 15 km from Asansol town, he claimed.
“They know that the people are angry at the way they have been treated by a cruel chief minister who has unleashed a reign of terror on West Bengal, who is not only leading the violence but even orchestrating them,” he alleged.
“She is misusing the police, the administration in whichever manner possible…The phrase ‘whatever it takes’ has been taken to a whole new level by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” Supriyo alleged.
Asansol goes to polls on April 29.