The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday decided to exhibit its muscle power in full public view by brandishing weapons in a rally, ahead of the state Panchayat polls. The upcoming Panchayat polls have already been riddled in controversy with serious violence being reported against BJP workers from various parts of the state.
Things seem to have become so bad that the TMC is winning various Panchayat seats unopposed, owing to opposition candidates failing to file their nomination papers. It was reported a while back that the TMC has been accused of using violence to prevent other parties from filing nomination papers. Wherever the opposition has managed to file the nomination papers, the elections will be held on either 1st, 3rd or 5th May.
Yesterday the West Bengal State Election Commission gave some form of relief to the opposition party by extending the date for filing nomination papers by one day, which has now been rescinded.
The TMC party workers though now seem to have decided not to keep their “intentions” clandestine by openly brandishing weapons during a bike rally in the state’s Bolpur region:
#WATCH TMC workers were seen brandishing weapons during a bike rally in Bolpur. pic.twitter.com/uG1Fk7TiRg
— ANI (@ANI) April 10, 2018
As per reports, this brandishing took place at about 10:30 AM on Tuesday, about 30 minutes before the commencement of nomination filing for the Panchayat polls. The alleged TMC workers were seen carrying weapons like swords, axes, daggers and knife.
Reports claimed that the said TMC workers numbering in the hundreds, congregated outside the Sub-Divisional Officer’s (SDO) office in Birbhum. Despite this heavy presence of armed TMC party workers, there was no police official in the area, nor was any suo moto cognisance was taken in this matter.
Besides shedding light on the possible violent means adopted by the TMC workers in West Bengal, the Mamata led party might have also exposed its hypocrisy when it comes to the issue of carrying weapons, especially ceremonial ones, during Hindu festivals like Ram Navami and Shastra Puja.
While the TMC seems to have been largely seen encouraging brandishing serious weapons during the polls, its outlook was totally different during the recently concluded Ram Navami, when BJP state president Dilip Ghosh was booked for brandishing a bow and arrow. A non-bailable case was registered against him for violating the arms act.
A few months prior to that the Mamata government had outright banned arms at Ram Navami rallies but had later relented by allowing it for the organisations which had been taking out traditional arms processions for the last 10-12 years.
The contempt of the state administration when it came to armed rallies during Ram Navami was visible when CM Mamata questioned whether Lord Ram has asked anyone to take out armed processions.
A similar distaste for ceremonial armed procession was noted during last year’s Ayudha Puja which is performed during Navami-Dashami of the Navaratra festival. With regards to this, CM Mamata had reportedly directed the police administration to “thwart” any attempt to celebrate Shastra Puja or any weapon worship on Dashami. Despite this various Hindu groups had defied her order and performed it across the state.