BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Sunday demanded immediate deployment of central forces in West Bengal to control the law-and-order situation.
Vijayvargiya told reporters, “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has unleashed a reign of terror in the state. Through this, she wants to remain in the chief minister’s chair. We feel that there is no room for an atmosphere of fear in the state of West Bengal. We will pray before the Election Commission to ensure that free and fair polls are held to allow people to vote fearlessly. In a bid to put an end to the atmosphere of fear and violence, central forces must be deployed immediately.”
Accompanied by party leader Anupam Hazra, Vijayvargiya was in Santiniketan to meet Visva-Bharati University vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty to discuss Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the institution on December 24 on its foundation day, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposed visit to the university later this month during a two-day trip to the state. The schedule of Shah’s visit has not been finalised yet.
The foundation of Visva-Bharati was laid during a special ceremony in Santiniketan on December 22, 1918. The university decided the date of the foundation day programme on Saturday. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be invited, while Modi will virtually inaugurate it. However, there is no confirmation if Banerjee will attend the event. “The PM, who is also the Chancellor of Visva-Bharati founded by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, is slated to address the programme virtually. We discussed the modalities with the vice-chancellor,” Vijayvargiya said.
Senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and state minister Firhad Hakim slammed Vijayvargiya for his comments and alleged that the Centre wants to misuse its power.
“We are not creating an atmosphere of fear here. It happens in Vijayvargiya’s state Madhya Pradesh. Now they have the government at the Centre and they have the power. Now they will try to misuse their power. But it does not affect us as people of the state are with Mamata Banerjee,” said Hakim.
Meanwhile, TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee’s letter to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) questioning its call to send three state IPS officers on central deputation had no value, said West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Sunday. In his counter-attack, Banerjee said Ghosh “is notorious for making baseless statements”.
In a communication sent to the state chief secretary and DGP on Friday, the MHA directed IG (South Bengal Range) Rajiv Mishra, DIG (Presidency Range) Praveen Tripathi and SP (North 24 Parganas) Bholanath Pandey to report for deputation with the Central government.
The three officers were responsible for the security of BJP national president JP Nadda on Thursday when his convoy was attacked allegedly by TMC workers on the outskirts of Kolkata. Following this, the MHA issued summons to the state chief secretary and the director general of police over law and order. The state government declined meeting MHA officials.
“The Centre can ask IPS and IAS officers for deputation any time as the Centre takes the responsibility for their career. Whenever the Centre calls the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) and the state finance minister (Amit Mitra) for a meeting, they never respond to such calls. Similarly, the state chief secretary and DMs never attend such meetings. IPS and IAS officers have received the call. Now, who is Kalyan Banerjee to object to it? He is just an MP. Who has given him the right to write a letter to the Centre? He has a tendency to appear as someone important. But his letter has no value,” said Ghosh.
The TMC MP hit back saying, “I don’t need a certificate of my mettle from him (Ghosh). He is an illiterate person and a goon in nature. The less said about him the better. He is famous for making baseless and unrealistic statements. He got scared by just one letter to the Centre. Despite being an MP himself, he lacks knowledge about the authority of an MP.”
Of the three IPS officers, Pandey is from 2011-batch and is learnt to enjoy popularity among policemen. Tripathi, besides being deployed in various posts in Kolkata Police, had served as the head of the detective department. A 1996-batch IPS officer, Mishra had served as IG (Western Zone) among other posts in Kolkata Police.
Continuing with his tirade, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar criticised the state government for keeping retired policemen in service and termed it a challenge to democracy.