No more the land of Bhadralok: BJP on West Bengal violence

West Bengal’s main opposition party termed Saturday as Black Day following incidents of violence during voting for panchayat election

| Updated: 09 July, 2023 1:04 am IST
BJYM workers protest outside the State Election Commission office in Kolkata

NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party in West Bengal, termed Saturday a black day for Indian democracy.

The BJP’s reaction came in response to the incidents of violence in the state that voted for the panchayat election.

Terming the day as the black day, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee said, “Today is the black day. Till 2.30 pm 33 people have been killed since yesterday. In the last seven hours, 15 people have been killed. As compared to last year, there has been a 10 per cent increase in incidents of violence.”

Highlighting the plight of the scared polling officials, Chatterjee said, “Such is the level of torture that presiding officers and others are running away scared. Till noon, all 61,000 booths were captured. I even say the police are forcing people to vote for TMC.”

Recalling Bengal’s glorious history, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, “West Bengal, once renowned as the land of Bhadralok and celebrated for its rich culture globally, has sadly become synonymous with corruption and violence.”

“What the West Bengal government is doing in the state, is the murder of democracy. It is a gross misuse of power and position. It is an attempt to influence the Panchayat elections in its favour through violence,” he added.

Comparing West Bengal today to Bihar in the 1990s, Trivedi said, “The continuing violence in the Panchayat elections in West Bengal is very unfortunate and disturbing. Elections are considered the lifeline of a healthy democracy, but what is happening today in West Bengal is similar to what used to happen in Bihar in the nineties.”

“The West Bengal government has committed the sin of indulging in bloodshed in this festival of democracy in the state. The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has been exposed by the misuse of constitutional bodies and by not providing security to the people and contestants,” he added.

ALSO READ: Violent clashes mark West Bengal panchayat polls

Highlighting the deaths of two BJP workers, Madhav Biswas and Chiranjeet Karmi, in Cooch Behar, Trivedi said, “The Bharatiya Janata Party workers are being brutally murdered. They are being tortured. Still, our leaders and workers are fighting this battle for democracy with full commitment and firm resolve. This signifies the faith and trust the Bharatiya Janata Party has towards our democracy.”

The State Election Commission has set up a total of 61,636 polling booths to conduct fair and impartial elections for 3317 Gram Panchayats, 341 Panchayat Samitis and 20 Zila Parishads.

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