PM’s remarks on Bengal poll violence unexpected: CM

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on the violence in the state’s rural bodies’ polls as “unexpected” and claimed the statements were made without proper checking of facts.

Congratulating her party for edging towards a resounding victory in all three tiers of the Panchayati Raj Institutions, the Trinamool Congress supremo claimed that the results proved that the combined efforts of all the state opposition parties to defeat the Trinamool had failed.

“There has been a lot of slanderous propaganda against us. We have been disrespected. Even the Prime Minister has talked on this. We did not expect this from him. A Chief Minister can never say something about the Prime Minister that is unconstitutional. We have a limit. The Prime Minister has criticised us, but I kept mum out of courtesy,” Banerjee said at the state Secretariat Nabanna here.

“Statements have been given based on the information from their party. They should have cross-checked that 10 of my party workers died. We have filed an FIR in every case. The truth will prevail,” she said.

Modi on May 15 denounced the poll violence and killings as a “murder of democracy” and said all parties, except the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress, were heavily affected by the violence.

“The CPI-M, Congress, BJP and Maoists came together to contest against the Trinamool in panchayat elections. In spite of all this, Trinamool won in 90 per cent of the panchayat seats.

“In the last elections, we did not win in Malda, Murshidabad, North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar. But this time around, we are set to win in 20 of the 21 districts. I still don’t have the trend of one district,” Banerjee said.

She also accused the Centre of questioning her government on every allegation levelled by the state BJP leaders and said a government should not lean towards any particular political party.

“The Home Ministry is enquiring about things from us (state government ) based on all kinds of allegations levelled by the BJP leaders here. Isn’t this a bit too much? The government cannot be party to any political party. It should be of the people, by the people, for the people,” she added.