BENGAL POLITICS: Pained, MK appeals for political peace – Bengal oh Bengal, let our people go and give us back our land for self determination in a secular India ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Forwarded by Gorkhs Daju
Calcutta, Oct. 12: Governor M.K. Narayanan today said the festive season was in “danger” of being marred by the “wail of grieving families” as he spoke about political clashes across Bengal and appealed to all parties to shun violence.
The statement, issued by Raj Bhavan on the eve of Sashthi, brought back memories of another from the same address. In a statement issued in November 2007, then governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi had criticised the “armed recapture” of Nandigram saying it had robbed the state of the “ardour of Deepavali”.
Narayanan, however, eschewed strong words, unlike Gandhi who had said the police firing in Nandigram had filled him with “a sense of cold horror”. But the current governor made it clear he was unhappy at the state of affairs in Bengal, where several hundred people have died in turf clashes over the past few years.
Narayanan wished the people of Bengal peace and prosperity, but added: “Yet… I cannot but remark that this unique festive season is in danger of being marred by violence and the wail of grieving families who have lost near and dear ones to political clashes in various corners of our state.”
The former national security adviser said the “recent” violence had caused him a “great deal of pain”.
“Such incidents not only besmirch our democracy and sully democratic values but bleach the colour and bleed the joy of this glorious festival,” he said.
“I am making an appeal to all political parties to eschew the politics of violence and prevail upon their followers to desist from violence in the name of democracy.”
The governor later told The Telegraph he had issued this statement because he had been “getting information” about political violence from various parts of the state. “And I think this is the right time to pass the message that the violence should stop.”
A senior bureaucrat said there was no immediate trigger for the release and it was a general statement, not aimed at any particular party. But the reactions captured the mood among the players on Bengal’s political theatre.
While the ruling Left, buffeted by a series of electoral blows, appeared defensive, Mamata Banerjee seized on the statement to attack the CPM. “The governor is absolutely right to express concern over the rising political clashes and violence. The CPM is responsible for the prevailing state of affairs,” she said.
The chief minister did not react but CPM central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty said: “The governor does not utter a single word about Maoists who are killing people.”
CPM state secretary Biman Bose said: “It is common knowledge that Trinamul and the Maoists are creating anarchy. But I don’t know whether the governor was talking about Trinamul or the CPM.”