Kolkata: Coming down heavily on the opposition, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that an unholy nexus has been formed that is misinforming people in connivance with a vernacular daily.
Elaborating on the ongoing trouble and violence before the forthcoming Panchayat polls, she said problems have arisen in namely seven districts. In Mohammadbazar, the BJP had brought in people from Jharkhand. In Bankura, veteran CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharya was injured. In Sandeshkhali, a Trinamool Congress worker was killed while in Sashan in North 24-Parganas, a party leader was murdered on Wednesday evening. In Murshidabad, there were incidents of violence and in Birbhum's Nalhati, a vernacular daily had created a hype, trying to influence people. In South Dinajpur, veteran party leader Asim Ghosh's house was ransacked by unidentified miscreants.
"I generally do not take the name of the newspaper but it is Anandabazar that is circulating false stories. If we recall, before 2016 Assembly polls, the newspaper had written against the TMC and projected an alliance. Now, it is writing stories in such a manner as if there is violence throughout the state and such stories are being circulated to mislead the masses."
The Chief Minister said no incidents of violence were reported from East and West Burdwan, North Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Malda and Nadia. She alleged that the BJP was trying to mislead people and are "spending money to publish false news just to create hype. I do not know whether it is BJP's paid news or not."
She further added: "If any incident takes place, one vernacular television channel circulates the news throughout the day just to influence the commoners."
She also wondered that if violence had erupted in the whole of Bengal, then how could the opposition file nearly 70,000 candidates and "if you take the number of Independent candidates, it amounts to somewhere around 90,000."
Banerjee stated: "How could we forget those days when our supporters were killed by the CPI(M) cadres in Netai, Singur and Nandigram. They chopped off the hands of our supporters in Howrah. Our candidates were prevented from filing nominations in the Panchayat elections. In 2003, we had filed 30,000 candidates followed by 35,000 candidates in 2008."
Banerjee maintained that the opposition does not have the strength to file candidates in all the seats. "They fail to get candidates. It is not our fault. I cannot go to their houses to cook food," she said.
She alleged that the BJP, CPI(M) and Congress are working hand-in-glove in the Panchayat elections. She also said many CPI(M) backed goons have become candidates for the BJP. "It's a real shame. The party has failed to strengthen its organisation and now the goons are working for a communal party like the BJP." She said in Delhi, the Congress is against the saffron party and here in Bengal, they are working with it. We don't believe in such a principle. We are against the communal BJP in Bengal and in Delhi as well."
Banerjee added that there will not be any bandh called by the Left Front on April 13. "It's another gimmick. It is a six-hour bandh from 6 am to 12 noon. Most of the shops are opened after 10 am. People come to the office around 11 am." She said the buses and vehicles will ply as usual and the offices will remain open too.
Speaking on the assault of a journalist, she said no police complaint was made. "It is a tragedy that before going to the administration to register a complaint, they have lodged one with a local vernacular daily and made a huge noise to attract the attention of the people."