In New Political Fire, TMC and BJP Lock Horns Over Demand for Presidential Rule in West Bengal

Union Home Minister Amit Shah justifies demand for imposition of presidential rule in West Bengal while CM Mamata Banerjee looks at it as political vendetta ahead of upcoming assembly polls.

Home Minister Amit Shah

Political tensions seem to be brewing up fast in the state of West Bengal as the time for the upcoming assembly elections draws near. Adding to the already tense political climate in the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has gone ahead and supported the demand made by his party colleagues in the state for the imposition of presidential rule

He said that although the final decision about the imposition of president’s rule in the state will be constitutionally governed and will be guided by the report put forward by the governor of the state, the situation in the state was tense and needed immediate attention. Reflecting on the situation in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated, “The law and order situation in Bengal is in tatters. Relief operations after Amphan went haywire. Even food grains sent by the Centre were scattered here and there due to corruption. The kind of arrangements that should have been in place for corona was not made. Corruption is at its peak….infiltration is going on unhindered. Bomb-making factories are found in every district. The situation is very bad.”

Asserting again and again that the political situation in the state of West Bengal was indeed extremely serious, he said that if he or his party sought presidential rule in the state it would be justified by all means.

Angered and infuriated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s comments on the state of law and order in West Bengal, CM Mamata Banerjee came down heavily upon him and said that before looking at West Bengal, the Centre should pay attention to the issues in Uttar Pradesh where she alleged that the “rule of law has ceased to exist.” 

She took a dig at the leader and said that the state of Uttar Pradesh was witnessing a far greater law and order disorder compared to West Bengal and the Centre should instead lay its focus there. 

She also commented on Amit Shah’s allegation that the political killings of members of the Opposition was spreading like wildfire in West Bengal, and said that political killings formed a subject on which the union home minister had expertise and knew quite well.

 In a television interview, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said,

 “During cyclone Amphan, the entire relief went into wrong hands. There were complaints of corruption over the distribution of food grains. The entire relief went into corruption. They(West Bengal administration)lacked in taking adequate measures while handling the pandemic. Corruption is at its peak. The law and order situation has gone for a toss.” 

He also raised an alarm about the killings of members of the Opposition and their being implicated in false cases, he said that such things didn’t happen elsewhere in India. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has time and again asserted that the BJP will come to power in West Bengal after the assembly polls in April or May next year.

 The debate around the possibility of the imposition of President’s rule in the state has come in the backdrop of several recent killings of political leaders and party workers belonging to the Opposition and primarily to the BJP in the past couple of months. 

CM Mamata Banerjee has been angered and infuriated by the comments of the minister and said that he should be directing his attention towards Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat instead. CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Firstly, rumours are rife over Amit Shah Ji’s health. Here is wishing he gets well soon. Now to his views on political killings, in their desperation to increase the death count, the BJP is now trying to pass off even TB or a cancer death as a “political killing.”

TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said, “Why doesn’t he first address the huge infighting in his Bengal unit? He should study the history of Bengal under CPI(M) to understand how far the state has come.”

TMC has been maintaining that it is a peaceful party and is doing wonderful work in the favour of the people of the state and has hit back at the ruling party for spreading allegedly wrong conceptions about the political climate in the state. They have also asserted that the ground situation in Uttar Pradesh deserves immediate attention as there is a big law and order problem there and instead it should concentrate there.

With tensions brewing up between the TMC and the BJP ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in the state, it will be interesting to see the turns, the politics in the state of West Bengal takes. It will also be extremely engaging to see whether CM Mamata Banerjee can free herself and her state from allegations of corruption, poor governance and lack of law and order as projected by the Centre and fight the proposal for the imposition of presidential rule in the state. 



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