Even as post-poll violence continues in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress seemingly offered an olive branch when a TMC delegation led by party leader Mukul Roy loyalist, Shilbhadra Dutta ‘escorted’ CPI-M workers to their party office in Barrackpore.
The move comes while the Trinamool Congress has been under constant fire for allegedly ‘encouraging’ their party cadre to attack opposition party workers, offices and their residence. CPI-M leader Surya Kanta Mishra has previously alleged that this is a part of the rulling party’s efforts to decimate the Left in the state. On Tuesday, a Left-Congress delegation had submitted a memorandum to West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi on the same, prompting him to shoot off a letter to Mamata Banerjee asking her to take action.
Meanwhile a team of state BJP leaders, including party state president Dilip Ghosh, had also met the Governor on Saturday and submitted a memorandum regarding post-poll violence in the state. Ghosh had gone one step further and threatened to stall Mamata Banerjee’s swearing-in ceremony on Friday, if post-poll violence continued.
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Banerjee’s response was prompt, sources maintained that she had instructed her party lieutenants, particularly Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikar to take action. Dutta, who is a Mukul Roy loyalist and was removed from the post of parliamentary secretary as a result of Roy’s rift with Banerjee explained, “The chief minister has repeatedly made it clear that there should be no such instances. These men, who the local CPI(M) were afraid of weren’t our men. But we reached out to them, nonetheless and promised to escort them to their office in Barrackpore near the station. We didn’t want them to feel threatened. The role of the opposition in a democracy is sacrosanct and we don’t want anyone to be afraid while we’re in power.”
But as far as the Left is concerned, Dutta’s claims is nothing but political window dressing. On Thursday, a Left Front spokesperson alleged that their local committee offices at Kasba had allegedly been set on fire while another office at Dharmatala in Kolkata was attacked. Mohammad Salim, CPI(M) MP termed the move a “farce” aimed at attempting to “clean their tarnished image”.
“This is nothing but a farce. They have realized that they can’t control their own troops and they are now attempting to try and win some people over by doing this. Some people are trying to go one up over others and it’s all ridiculous. Trinamool Congress doesn’t believe in democracy,” he added.