West Bengal Governor visits violence-hit Bhangar amid Panchayat poll preparations

16 June, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

West Bengal Top News

Governor CV Ananda Bose visited Bhangar as West Bengal's panchayat elections are set to take place on July 8 with the vote counting set for July 11.

During his visit to Bhangar, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose examined the effects of recent violence that occurred during nominations for panchayat elections on Friday.

The West Bengal Governor assured the victims of the violence that the offenders would be permanently silenced by the law of the land after speaking with them. He continued by saying that West Bengal’s citizens have the freedom to cast their ballots without being afraid of anyone.

“I interacted with the victims of violence and locals. I can assure the people of Bengal that violence will be the first victim in this election. The perpetrators of violence will be silenced permanently under the Constitution and laws of the land. The peace-loving people of Bengal have a right to exercise their franchise unfearful of anybody else,” Ananda Bose, West Bengal Governor said.

In particular, West Bengal’s ongoing violence has hampered the nomination process for the upcoming panchayat elections. “No words, only action. Wait and watch. You will see effective action, concrete action. That is all I can say now,” Governor told the media.

In a statement, the governor also denounced the violence and assaults on the media. “Shocked to hear that the death toll in pre-election Bengal is increasing. It is revolting that the media is also under attack by hooligans. Victory in elections should depend on the count of votes, not the count of dead bodies,” read the Governor’s statement.

He added, “When the fourth estate is under attack, it means democracy is under attack. It means the common man is under attack. It means the Constitution is under attack. It means the new generation is under attack.”

Miscreants will be brought to justice, violence would be eradicated: West Bengal Governor

The governor of Bengal declared that miscreants would be put behind bars and that violence would be completely eradicated from the state. “At any cost, violence will be eradicated and made the first casualty of these panchayat elections. No one, howsoever high and mighty they fancy themselves to be, will be allowed to take the law into their hands,” the governor stated.

He went on to say, “Bengal is committed to protecting the rights of the common man for freedom and peace in society at a time when elections to the local bodies are about to take place. Miscreants and those who flaunt muscle power will be brought to book and shown their due place behind bars”.

In the South 24 Parganas district, extensive security deployments have been made in order to preserve law and order. In the Bhangar block, where clashes between supporters of the ruling TMC and the Naushad Siddiqui-led Indian Secular Front (ISF) have taken place over the past two days, tension and unease predominated.

West Bengal’s panchayat elections will take place on July 8 in a single phase, with the vote counting set for July 11. The BJP and the Trinamool Congress, which is in power in West Bengal, are expected to engage in a fierce race in the panchayat elections, which are seen as a litmus test for both parties before the Lok Sabha elections next year.