BJP fact-finding committee submits 26-page report on West Bengal violence

BJP fact-finding committee, headed by senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, submits report on West Bengal panchayat elections to party’s national president JP Nadda

| Updated: 26 July, 2023 5:35 pm IST
BJP fact-finding committee submitted the report to party national president JP Nadda

KOLKATA: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) five-member fact-finding committee, headed by Lok Sabha MP Ravi Shankar Prasad, has submitted a comprehensive report on the incidents of violence during the recently held West Bengal panchayat elections to the party’s national president JP Nadda.

The report, comprising 26 pages, highlights the rampant violence that marred the electoral process and raises concerns about the state government’s disregard for democratic principles.

Taking to Twitter, President JP Nadda shared a photograph with the members of the fact-finding committee and wrote, “Received the report by the BJP fact-finding team, constituted to inquire about the incidents of violence during the Panchayat Election in West Bengal.”

He expressed dismay over the state government’s arrogance and lack of respect for democratic processes. Furthermore, he reassured the public that the BJP would persist in advocating for the people’s rights in West Bengal through democratic means.

“The state government’s arrogance and utter disrespect for democratic processes are dismaying. The BJP will continue to fight for the people’s voice in West Bengal in a democratic way,” Nadda said.

 

 

Key points from the fact-finding committee report

The fact-finding committee’s report pulls no punches in its assessment of the electoral process in West Bengal. It points out that elections in the state have consistently been marred by violence, with loss of life becoming a distressing norm during every electoral exercise.

“Elections in West Bengal have been invariably accompanied by violence, to the point where the loss of lives has become a constant with every electoral exercise,” the report stated.

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The report highlights the complicity of local goons affiliated with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and their apparent support from a biased West Bengal Police, which has led to an atmosphere of terror in rural Bengal.

“The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and the Hon’ble Calcutta high court were compelled to make remarks in respect of the election jumble. Rural Bengal is now highly terror-driven, primarily instigated by the Trinamool Congress local goons and supported and buttressed by a complicit West Bengal Police,” the report stated.

The role of the state election commission and the administration during the Panchayat election also came under scrutiny in the report. The fact-finding team labelled it “biased,” raising serious questions about their impartiality and integrity.

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In light of their findings, the fact-finding team recommends that all cases related to election violence be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the monitoring of the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court.

The report also emphasises the need for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate all bomb blast cases, citing a lack of faith in the fair investigation capability of the local police.

“Also, all the bomb blast cases need to be referred to the NIA for investigation. The Committee is constrained to make such a recommendation because the local police are a facilitator in offences and no fair investigation is expected from them,” the committee wrote in its report.

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The BJP’s fact-finding committee had undertaken an extensive visit to violence-hit districts in West Bengal immediately after the Panchayat elections. During their visit, the team also met with West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose, urging for security measures and repatriation assistance for victims who were forced to flee their homes following the post-poll violence that erupted after the election results were announced.

In addition to the efforts of the fact-finding committee, the BJP has also constituted a group of five women MPs from their party to visit the areas affected by violence. This group will present a detailed report on the alleged acts of violence against women during the Panchayat election.

As the report reaches the BJP leadership, it remains to be seen how the party will respond to the fact-finding committee’s recommendations and the situation in West Bengal. The findings are expected to fuel further political discourse and action in the state as parties strive to address the issues raised by the report and ensure a more peaceful and democratic electoral process in the future.

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