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People prevented from exercising democratic rights: West Bengal Governor tears into Mamata Banerjee govt for not allowing post-poll violence victims to meet him

The Governor hit out at the state government saying that the victims were prevented from exercising their democratic rights.

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Mohan Bose came down heavily on the Mamata Banerjee government after some victims of post-poll violence in the state were prevented from meeting him by the state government on Thursday.

The Governor hit out at the state government saying that the victims were prevented from exercising their democratic rights.

“Yesterday, I gave permission to the victims of violence in the field who came from various parts of Bengal to meet me in the Raj Bhavan and share their grievances. I was shocked to find that for one reason or another, they were all prevented from exercising their democratic rights,” Governor Bose said in a press conference on Friday.

The Governor termed this as “violation” of the Constitution that the state government has engaged in on several occasions.

“Right to life is an inalienable fundamental right in the Constitution of India. Every responsible government, every civilised government has a right to defend the Constitution. But here there are violations of Constitution, not once but many times, over and over again,” he said.

The Governor pointed out that he has the authority to give suggestions to the Chief Minister and the Chief Minister has also been mandated to give information to the Governor.

“To be specific, under Article 167 of the Constitution of India, it is mandatory for the Chief Minister of a state to give reports and information to the Governor whenever it is called for. The Constitution also says that the Governor has the right and the duty to suggest to the Chief Minister to place before the Council of Ministers any matter which the Governor in his wisdom finds worth presenting before the Council Ministers. This has also been done by me and by my predecessors in office here,” he said.

Governor Bose said that the Chief Minister cannot flout constitutional norms and he will ensure that the government fulfils its mandated duty.

“A Constitutional authority like the Chief Minister or any Minister cannot defile the Constitution of India with immunity. There will certainly be retribution…That the Constitution has been flouted many times does not mean that it has to be the role of the day. It is my duty to see that the constitutional provisions are invoked and the government is made to do whatever is constitutionally expected or mandated to do,” he said.

Hitting out at the state government over alleged post-poll violence in the state, the Governor said that such incidents “cannot go on”.

“The dance of death, the macabre which is happening at various pockets of West Bengal. During the panchayat elections, I saw it with my own eyes. I was on the field. During this election also there has been many instances of violence, murder, intimidation. This cannot got on,” he said.

The Governor shared that he went to meet the victims of violence in the state because he wants to be a “peoples’ Governor”.

“The worst is that when the poor people came to meet the people with permission to air their grievances, they were prevented…I would like to be a people’s Governor. Therefore I went to see them. I spent time with them. What I heard was the deep pangs of the innocent people who were at the gunpoint of the goons. This does not bring credit to any civilized government,” Governor Bose said.

“The government has to do its duty. If the government fails to do its duty the Constitution will take its own course,” he added.

After meeting the victims on Friday, Governor Bose said, “I heard the victims. This is one version of the story. As a Governor, I would like to be fair. I have also asked for a report from the government on this. After listening to the government’s side, I will give my opinion. In one word I will say, ‘shocking’.”

In an official release posted on ‘X’, the Governor said that the actions of the State Government in not allowing the victims of violence meet the Governor on Thursday despite being permitted to do so, has invited disapproving comments from the judiciary against virtually a ‘State within State.”

The Court wondered whether the Governor is under house arrest and ordered that anyone can meet the Governor if he permits, the Governor said.

The Governor has decided that all victims will be welcome to meet him in the Raj Bhavan. He added that till the victims are allowed to meet him, the Minister-in-Charge of Police, will not be allowed to meet the Governor. Moreover, he has directed all police personnel posted in Raj Bhavan to be changed.

In the release, the Governor shared that he visited the victims of violence who were prevented from meeting him on Thursday in spite of written permission. The Governor interacted with the victims, including women and children, and was moved by their plight. The survivors narrated their woes and how they had to flee to save themselves, leaving their home and hearth at the mercy of miscreants, the release said.

The Governor has taken a strong view in the matter and has urged the administration to take all necessary steps to ensure that violence was reined in and the victims of violence could return to their homes and resume their normal activities, it said.

Earlier on Tuesday, West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari was stopped by the police on Thursday from entering the Raj Bhavan to meet West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose with alleged victims of post-poll violence.

Speaking to ANI about the incident, Adhikari said, “For the first time after independence, we have been stopped outside Raj Bhavan. They didn’t let the LoP to enter. The Governor called in the victim with written permission. 200 victims accompanied with LoP had come here.”

Earlier this month, West Bengal opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari had written to Governor CV Ananda Bose, raising concerns about the All India Trinamool Congress’ alleged role in post-poll violence, urging him to take steps to prevent a recurrence of the situation after elections in 2021.

In the letter to the Governor of West Bengal, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari said that after the 2024 Parliamentary General Election results were announced on June 4, “goons of the ruling dispensation” has gone “berserk upon the workers of BJP” in West Bengal.

“As has become synonymous now with the State of West Bengal, the goons of the ruling dispensation has gone berserk upon the workers of BJP after the declaration of results of the Parliamentary General Elections, 2024, which was announced on June 4, 2024,” Adhikari said in the letter.

“This seems to be a repeat of the incidents which had transpired after the declaration of the results of the 2021 assembly election results in Bengal, which had resulted in the death of several BJP karyakartas,” he added.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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