Sunday, June 16, 2024
HomePoliticsInfamous for political violence, Bengal to have 32000 Central Security officials in the state...

Infamous for political violence, Bengal to have 32000 Central Security officials in the state till June 19: Know why this decision has been taken for the first time

However, there is concern that the use of central forces is under the purview of the state government and that if the TMC administration will not utilise them in the event of unrest, the security forces will stay immobilised.

The Lok Sabha elections 2024 have concluded and only the vote count, and final results remain to be declared. Nearly all exit polls have forecast that the NDA alliance led by the BJP will win an absolute majority. This prediction has created a sense of despair in the INDI Alliance camp. Amidst all of this, West Bengal, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats, is also making headlines as the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to emerge as the largest party in the state for the first time. However, the same old situation continues in this state, which is notorious for post-poll violence.

In West Bengal, voting was conducted in seven phases. Sandeshkhali was also a major issue during the elections. In Basirhat (Lok Sabha seat under which Sandeshkhali falls), TMC strongman Shahjahan Sheikh and his associates were accused of sexually exploiting tribal women. He was arrested and the state government was seen protecting him.

There is no need to go too far back, just take into account the final phase of voting. Violence erupted in Sataulia, Bhangar in Jadhavpur, and Kolkata. The violence was not between the BJP and the TMC, but between supporters of Abbas Siddiqui’s party ISF and the CPI(M), which had ruled the state for 34 years. In Kultali, South 24 Parganas, an unruly mob gathered outside the polling booth and tossed the EVM into the pond.

The atmosphere in Sandeshkhali became so tense that local women were forced to take to the streets with bamboo sticks for protection. Several women have claimed that they are still in danger from Shahjahan Sheikh. TMC goons attacked BJP supporters in Diamond Harbour, the Lok Sabha seat of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee. Leftists were beaten up by TMC members in Ganguly Bagan, Jadhavpur. If this was not enough, stones were thrown at journalists in Itkhola, South 24 Parganas.

These were just the instances from the last phase, which were also documented by the media, just imagine the conditions in which the elections were held in all seven phases of West Bengal. And in what circumstances will the ballots be counted, and in what situation will BJP workers find themselves if their party wins the most seats? This has already started as Hafizul Sheikh, who had recently joined the BJP, was murdered in Nadia district. He was shot in the head at a tea stand with his head mutilated.

This is why, even though the polls are done and dusted, paramilitary forces will stay stationed in West Bengal for the next few days. The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) has deployed 400 companies in West Bengal. Even if the vote count is finished on the 4th of June as expected, and the results are announced, the troops will remain for the next two weeks. They have been asked to assume charge in Bengal until 19th June. It must be recalled that more than 50 people were killed during the Panchayat elections in 2023.

This is not the first time that this has happened in West Bengal, 1000 CAPF companies were deployed for the assembly elections in 2021 as well. In a scenario like this, you can comprehend how challenging it is for the Election Commission to organise elections in West Bengal. The elections also have to be held in several phases to negate the impact of violence. Similarly, there was violence during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well.

For the first time, the BJP won 18 seats in West Bengal in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while the TMC became the largest party with 22 seats. It was a watershed moment when the BJP increased its seat count from two to 18, while the Trinamool Congress lost its seat count from 34 to 22. Sensitive locations in West Bengal are now being identified and security is being enhanced to gear up for the vote counting. West Bengal is a state where enormous violence occurs both during and after elections.

What is crucial here is that no one is clamouring for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s resignation or calling her a dictator. Propagandists like Dhruv Rathi are not uploading videos against her on YouTube, and international media organisations are not covering the deplorable state of affairs in West Bengal. The so-called ‘intellectuals’ were also not seen discussing it on television. Yet, the BJP, which is in power at the centre and whose people are being murdered, is undoubtedly being referred to as a dictator, and a sinister narrative is being pushed as part of the agenda.  

Several cases of corruption are coming to the fore in West Bengal. Sandeshkhali villain Shahjahan Sheikh is also accused in the ration scam, and the ED team attempting to arrest him was attacked. Following the recruitment scam, the Calcutta High Court ousted over 25,000 newly hired teachers. Similarly, OBC certificates produced after 2010 were revoked since many Muslim castes were added to satisfy Muslims. West Bengal is also infamous for bribes with ‘cut money’, indicating that corruption has become entrenched in the ‘system’.

When West Bengal became a hotbed of electoral violence during the Left’s reign, the TMC actively promoted this culture. TMC leaders and cadre need to understand that this is a democratic election, not a war. In a democracy, the button is pressed with a finger rather than the trigger. In India, one has to exercise one’s right to vote without breaking anyone’s head. The people’s mandate is gracefully accepted instead of resorting to violence. The culture of violence is terrible, and not suitable for human beings.

Former BSF DG Prakash Singh explained the Election Commission’s latest decision, saying that under normal circumstances, after the formation of the government at the Centre and the administration in the state falling under the state government, the central government waits for the state to suggest whether paramilitary forces are needed there or not. Prakash Singh asserts that the recent case is extraordinary since the ECI issued this order. He adds that whether TMC or BJP wins more seats, there is a risk of violence in both circumstances.

“In normal circumstances, once a government is formed at the Centre and the government in the state is restored, the Centre awaits a recommendation from the state government on whether they need central forces or not. In this case, it seems to be extraordinary because ECI has given such an order. Although ECI has certain authority, it may be questioned as to why they have given such orders for a prolonged period (almost 15 days) after the declaration of results. Maybe BJP will get the majority of seats as is being said in exit polls, or TMC may get more, but in either case, I visualise a disturbed scenario. It is a very complicated and tricky situation in West Bengal. I endorse the ECI’s prognosis that there may be (post-poll) violence on some scale irrespective of the result,” Singh said.

That is, whatever the outcome, there is a risk of violence. However, there is concern that the use of central forces is under the purview of the state government and that if the TMC administration will not utilise them in the event of unrest, the security forces will stay immobilised. The question is, what would happen in such a situation? Because the ruling party is accused of violence, they may use paramilitary forces. Let us see what West Bengal has in store this time.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Searched termsBengal violence
अनुपम कुमार सिंह
अनुपम कुमार सिंह
भारत की सनातन परंपरा के पुनर्जागरण के अभियान में 'गिलहरी योगदान' दे रहा एक छोटा सा सिपाही, जिसे भारतीय इतिहास, संस्कृति, राजनीति और सिनेमा की समझ है। पढ़ाई कम्प्यूटर साइंस से हुई, लेकिन यात्रा मीडिया की चल रही है। अपने लेखों के जरिए समसामयिक विषयों के विश्लेषण के साथ-साथ वो चीजें आपके समक्ष लाने का प्रयास करता हूँ, जिन पर मुख्यधारा की मीडिया का एक बड़ा वर्ग पर्दा डालने की कोशिश में लगा रहता है।

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -