Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hard-hitting West Bengal governor in line of Left fire

Kolkata, Aug 7 (IANS) A day after his hard-hitting remarks on the rising political violence in West Bengal, Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi Friday came under attack from the state’s ruling Left Front which asked him to “exhibit more apparent neutrality” while making public statements.
“We would humbly like to submit that the constitutional head of the state should exhibit more apparent neutrality while making statements in public,” the Left Front committee said in a press statement here.

“If worship of force in all its forms has to be eradicated, then the way the highest office of the state behaves should also call for a meaningful change,” said the Left Front, citing several instances to suggest the governor’s lack of neutrality.

Gandhi, in a strong statement Thursday night, observed that the state was witnessing a “veritable tandava of political violence”.

“The state too will, I am confident, (i) move swiftly to check the phenomenon of illicit arms; (ii) act to rapidly bring the perpetrators of violence to account; and (iii) instil confidence among the people that their politics and their security are not linked,” he said.

The Left Front in the statement claimed that the political violence started before the Lok Sabha polls and was targeted at “the CPI-M in particular” and the Left Front in general.

It said 74 CPI-M workers, two of LF constituent Forward Bloc, besides four of the Jharkhand Party (Naren) and two villagers have been killed since the declaration of the elections in April-May. Altogether 103 CPI-M workers were killed since Sep 1, 2008, it said.

“By asking ‘When the leading political formations of West Bengal have the same objective, why should violence not abate?’ and arriving at a conclusion that he believes ‘Those who can act are not doing so’, the governor makes no distinction between the killers and the killed,” the LF statement said.

“The perceptive Indian mentioned in the statement would not have missed this difference and that probably explains why the statement is shy of taking his name,” the LF said in a sarcastic reference to the governor quoting from Mahatma Gandhi without naming him in his statement.

The LF claimed that the role of some union ministers from the Trinamool Congress in encouraging the ‘tandava’ was explained in the memorandum submitted by its MPs to the governor. “We are not aware if the honourable governor has sent any report to the union government on the involvement of the union ministers in this matter.”

Blaming the Leftwing Maoist guerrillas, the LF said: “The self-styled Maoists take pride in openly claiming their ownership of most of these ghastly murders and their attempt to kill the chief minister of the state. We have no knowledge of any public statement releases from Raj Bhavan on such occasions,” the LF added.

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