By Arun Srivastava
It is heartening to see that the spirit of federalism and nationalism has conjured the two Uttar Pradesh based people, Ranjana Agnihotri, a lawyer, and Jitender Singh, a social worker, both owing allegiance to the BJP, requesting the Supreme Court to impose President’s Rule in Bengal, the state nearly 2500 kms away from Lucknow, as nearly 15 BJP workers have lost their lives in the post-poll violence in the state.
Already a number of BJP cadres and leaders, based in Delhi have complained to the National Human Rights Commission and National Women’s’ Commission that people were not safe in Bengal as post poll violence has escalated to an abnormal stage. Looking at the concern of these BJP cadres for the citizens of Bengal the possibility of many such petitions being filed before the apex court cannot be ruled out.
After all being an Indian these people have right to feel concerned about the people living in Bengal. But one question that severely haunts is why their sensibilities betrayed these conscientious people and they are not even willing to express their concern when hundreds of innocent people, including journalists, are killed in their own states, in their determination to unravel the rule of corruption and mafia. In UP in the wake of the recently held panchayat elections, a large number of innocent Dalits, particularly from the Jatav community were forced to leave their homes. More than dozens of political activists were brutally murdered.
Two journalists who tried to expose the functioning of the bureaucracy and how it has been acting at the beck and call of the BJP politicians, were killed. These two people were concerned of the terror and disorder prevailing in the Bengali society, but they did not utter a word against the reign of terror that rules UP. True enough ever since the BJP lost the Bengal election and met with waterloo, the BJP workers have desperate to destabilise the Mamata government.
The call to impose President’s rule has been vibrating in the political circle of the country. The BJP leaders of the entire country, not only Narendra Modi or Amit Shah, including central leadership, have launched a systematic campaign. The primary reason is they are scared of rising image and credibility of Mamata. They know and it has been elucidated by Bengal election that Modi is not at all a match to Mamata. He is not invincible.
Forced by this fear syndrome, they have started finding legal recourse to destabilize Mamata government. With the Supreme Court accepting the petition and issuing notice to the Centre, the West Bengal government, and the Election Commission of India on a plea seeking SIT investigation into the causes of post-poll violence in West Bengal these people are feeling quite ebullient. They nurse the feeling that imposition of President’s Rule may happen any day.
The Supreme Court while agreed to hear a plea seeking direction to the Centre to impose President’s Rule in Bengal in view of deteriorating law and order situation due to the post-poll violence which started on May 2, the day of assembly election results were announced, it also directed the Centre to deploy armed/paramilitary forces in the aid of the administrative authorities to bring normalcy in the state and to save it from internal disturbances. This simply implied that the Central Home ministry can intervene in the functioning of the state government on the plea of looking into the reasons for post poll violence.
The Union home ministry since holding of the elections has been creating problems for the state government. Even during the elections the government officials were summoned abruptly without caring for the hampering of the administrative work and ambience. The home ministry officials were concerned of asserting their authorities and power. While the state machinery was functioning under the control of the Election Commission and home ministry was monitoring five rural poor were brutally killed by the CISF. Later the state CID which has been investigating the case of Sitalkuchi in Birbhoom could detect that the CISF had fired on innocent people not involved in any crime. Unfortunately the home ministry did not initiate any action against the CISF. There is no denying the fact that if the Sitalkuchi incident had not taken the post poll scenario would not have developed. The local people had come to know that the CISF had opened fire at the directive of the some BJP leaders who were opposed to the people shot dead.
The BJP cadres also feel euphoric as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has submitted its report to the Calcutta High Court in the matter of displacement of people due to the violence. The court will examine the matter On July 2. Incidentally on June 18 the five-judge bench of the High Court had directed the chairperson of the NHRC to constitute a committee to examine all the cases of alleged human rights violations during post-poll violence notwithstanding the plea of the state government to recall the order.
In May, a vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai had issued a notice to the Centre and the state government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the SC’s intervention “to stop” post-poll violence in the state, to order an SIT probe into the alleged crimes and fix liability. In its reply, the TMC government, however, told the apex court that allegations that the state machinery was complicit in the violence are “false” and “misleading”. The state also said that not all incidents of violence can be categorised as “post-poll violence”, calling the allegations of state-sponsored violence “frivolous and politically motivated”.
The desperation of the BJP leadership to throw Mamata out of office is so acute that they are not willing to give any chance to Mamata to retaliate. As if all these are not enough the Governor Jagdeep Dhankar is out to create constitutional crisis for the government. As per the Constitutional norms and provisions, Governor reads the address to the assembly, prepared by the council of minister presided over by the chief minister. Of late Dhankar has been behaving like the opposition BJP leader. He has been creating all sorts of obstacles for the Mamata government. He has been publically claiming that being the Governor he should get priority over Mamata. Recently he expressed his anger against some private TV channels for not providing him the opportunity to speak.
The petitioners who have come out with the innovative idea of putting the blame on Muslims for the post poll violence, are not aware of the historical fact like UP, the Bengali society is not divided on communal line. The Bengali culture is the umbilical cord that binds the tow communities in rural Bengal together. The BJP has already divided the village community in Haryana, Western UP and to some extent in Rajasthan. Now the party intends to repeat the same experiment in Bengal.
The petitioner also alleged that the TMC had contested the polls purely on communal basis arousing the feelings of the Muslims and appealing to them to remain united and vote for their party for their better future. How far this is true is known to the entire world. It is an open secret that Modi and Amit Shah have been nakedly indulging in communal campaigning. Referring to the 2017 Abhiram Singh case, while the petitioner argues that no person can be allowed to contest election by making religious appeal but its duality is exposed when it refuses to blame Modi and Amit Shah for the same crime. (IPA Service)