Union minister Babul Supriyo on Sunday said recent events in West Bengal — from the arrest of suspected al-Qaeda operatives to the controversy involving a Sikh man and his turban — was proof that the state was a “fit case” for the imposition of President’s Rule.
The remark drew a sharp reaction from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which asked Supriyo to first call for imposition of President’s Rule in Uttar Pradesh.
“The recent chain of events, ranging from the attack on a Sikh community member, the arrest of al-Qaeda operatives to brazen murder of Manish Shukla and other political opponents, shows that it is a fit case for imposition of Article 365 in West Bengal,” the Asansol MP told a news agency.
The minister claimed that Bengal had become a hub of terrorists. Criticising Mamata Banerjee, he alleged that the Chief Minister was “oppressing” Opposition parties in Bengal. She must have forgotten her struggles at the grassroots level, Supriyo added.
Lashing out at the minister, TMC MP Saugata Roy told reporters that Supriyo must look into the state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh, which is a BJP-ruled state, before commenting on West Bengal.
“Babul is new to politics. He came into politics from the Mumbai film industry in 2014. He has not properly read the Constitution, which says before invoking Article 356 an advisory has to be given through Article 355. If President’s Rule at all needs to be invoked for West Bengal then it must be first invoked for Uttar Pradesh. Babul Supriyo should call for invoking Article 356 in Uttar Pradesh first,” Roy said.
On Supriyo’s comment that Bengal had become a hub of terrorists, the senior TMC leader said, “One al-Qaeda operative was arrested from Bengal. Can President’s Rule be invoked for that? One BJP leader named Manish Shukla was killed because of his personal rivalry. Does it merit such a demand for President’s Rule? I have not heard a more insignificant comment than this. In reality, Babul Supriyo is trying to establish his importance in the party and that is why he is making such statements.”
(With PTI inputs)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines