Senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday criticised West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose for his partisan role in the ongoing panchayat polls campaign and accused him of working at the behest of a political party. He suggested that a "constitutional expert like him" should be sent to strife-torn Manipur.
Banerjee, the TMC national general secretary, wondered why the governor, who has been visiting the violence-prone areas, never bothered to visit the families of those 80 victims from Bengal who died in the Balasore train accident.
"Regarding the transgressions of the Hon'ble Governor of Bengal, I am not a representative of the State Election Commission, so I won't be able to comment on what he has said to the SEC. However, since the governor claims to be the custodian of the constitution, I would ask him why he hasn't met those deprived of their rightful dues under the 100 Days' Work scheme by the Centre," Banerjee said.
His remarks came in the backdrop of Bose on Thursday alleging that State Election Commissioner (SEC) Rajiva Sinha failed to discharge his duties during the panchayat elections.
"Why didn't the governor start a control room or a peace room for the victims of the Odisha train accident? All he is doing is campaigning at the behest of a political party. The governor has received his orders from Delhi and is busy fulfilling them," Banerjee said. The TMC MP questioned the governor's stance on the ethnic clashes in Manipur, which have resulted in over 100 deaths.
"The governor claims that there is blood on the hands of the State Election Commission; I wish to ask him, isn't there blood on the hands of the central government and the BJP-led state government in Manipur?" he asked.
"The central government should immediately send the governor to Manipur, he is a man of great understanding of democratic values, he should see the situation in Manipur with his own eyes," Banerjee said.
Speaking on the ongoing violence in the panchayat polls, the de-facto number two in TMC said, "The party wants peaceful elections and strives to make elections free of violence."
"We want peaceful elections. If there is violence, the state police will take necessary actions on the administrative front. Even one death is condemnable, but let us not pursue politics over dead bodies. We have strived to make the elections free of violence," Banerjee said.
Rubbishing allegations of the opposition not being able to file nominations, Banerjee said over 2.36 lakh nominations have been filed for panchayat elections, of which the opposition parties have filed over 1.56 lakh nominations.
"Never in the history of panchayat elections have we seen such massive numbers. Regarding the talks of uncontested seats in the panchayat elections, have the BJP leaders ever looked at Tripura or Uttar Pradesh, where over 90% of the seats were won by BJP uncontested?" he questioned.
The two-time TMC MP also refuted claims by Suvendu Adhikari, recently that he was offered the post of deputy chief minister when he was preparing to leave the party in December 2020, and said: "the party never intended to retain a corrupt leader like him whose name has cropped in several scams." Adhikari had joined BJP just months ahead of the 2021 assembly polls in West Bengal.