The BJP Western Legal Department on Friday requested Governor C. V. Ananda Bose’s intervention over the violence during the Western Panchayat election process, alleging it revealed the “suffocation of the democratic process” and the lack of law and order in the state.
They pointed out that a number of lives were lost during the rural suffrage process, and said in one representation that free and fair elections had become a distant dream.
Seeking the governor’s intervention to “restore democracy in West Bengal”, the BJP’s legal section of advocates alleged that the state’s panchayat elections exposed “the bottleneck of the democratic process and the lack of law and order in the state”.
The representation submitted to Raj Bhavan alleged that such a high level of election-related violence is unique to West Bengal and is rarely observed in other states in the country.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged that 19 people, mostly TMCs, have died in election-related violence since the election date was announced on June 8.
However, police sources put the death toll at 38 but agree that at least 60 percent of those who lost their lives belonged to the TMC.
On Thursday evening, BJP workers clashed with police in North Parganas district 24 while agitating against alleged poor electoral practices in the recently concluded panchayat elections.
A police officer said that a few people were injured in the scuffle that occurred when they tried to lift a blockade by BJP workers near Akipur railway station.
He said a police car was also damaged in the accident.
Union minister Shantanu Thakur took part in a protest rally in Akipur, alleging that TMC workers rigged during the 8 July panchayat elections.
After the minister left the area, some protesters blocked the road near Akipur Railway Station.
The police officer said that when the police tried to lift the blockade, the agitators clashed with law enforcement officials, resulting in casualties.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Local BJP leader Pradeep Banerjee claimed that there was no party leader present at the time of the accident.
“Out of anger at the inaction of the police seen during the panchayat surveys, a few locals attacked the law enforcement officials and broke their car windows,” he said.