Arch-rivals Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are demanding the same thing in West Bengal. Both parties have urged for the imposition of Article 355 of the Constitution in the Trinamool Congress-ruled state amid recent violence.
Congress’s Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue in the House on Tuesday. “I will meet the President of India and will demand to impose Article 355 in the state immediately because there is no law and order in West Bengal,” he said. The same demand has been made by Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumder.
Article 355 says, “It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”
The BJP alleges that Trinamool Congress-backed miscreants were involved in the killing of 8-10 people and setting fire to houses in Rampurhat.
BJP MPs from Bengal discussed the matter with union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday. It has been decided that a delegation of the ministry headed by a joint secretary will visit the state to inspect the situation in Rampurhat.
The home ministry has also asked the Mamata Banerjee-led government for a report on the violence within 72 hours.
Houses were allegedly torched in Rampurhat following the murder of a Trinamool Congress deputy panchayat chief in the area.
Sukanta Majumder told News18 that the TMC leader had lost her moral right to remain the chief minister.
“We are demanding the resignation of chief minister and state home minister Mamata Banerjee. It is not clear whether the state government is running a circus or a government,” he said.
Majumder also asked why the police did not have any information about the deaths of 10 people in the state within a few hours.
He alleged that the police were addressing Mamata Banerjee as “maa” (mother) in the name of various programmes without protecting the people of the state.
BJP MP Locket Chatterjee and national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia too hit out at the TMC government in a press conference. They said the culprits should be punished immediately and the chief minister should resign.
The ruling TMC has sent a three-member MLA team led by minister Firhad Hakim to the spot to take stock of the situation.
Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya compared the incident with past violence in Chhoto Angaria (West Midnapore) when 11 Trinamool Congress supporters were allegedly burnt alive by Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers on January 4, 2001.
“The police should have informed the people of Bengal why and how the (Rampurhat) fire started. A forensic examination will show the cause of the fire,” he said.
The West Bengal government will initiate strict action against those responsible, minister Partha Chatterjee told the state assembly, adding that efforts were being made to restore normalcy.
With inputs from News18