Governor calls for all-party meeting to sort out differences
Kolkata: Governor K N Tripathi has convened a meeting of four major political parties at the Raj Bhavan on Thursday in view of the ongoing post-poll violence in the state.
Partha Chatterjee, secretary general of TMC; Dilip Ghosh, BJP state president; Surya Kanta Mishra, CPI(M) state secretary and Somen Mitra, president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee have been invited to attend the meeting.
A controversy developed between the Governor and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the number of deaths during the post-poll violence after the latter said that he had "blown it out of proportion". Tripathi had reported to Union Home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Monday that 12 people had died in the post-poll violence while Banerjee said 10 persons had died, including two BJP supporters. While addressing the gathering at Hare School ground in connection with the inauguration of a statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on Tuesday, Banerjee had instructed state Chief Secretary Malay De to give compensation to the next of kin of the deceased including the two BJP supporters.
Following the declaration of the election result on May 23, violence broke out in different parts of North 24-Parganas including Bhatpara, Naihati, Bijpur, Kakinara and Jagatdaal. There were rampant clashes in North Bengal where houses have been set ablaze and workers of the political parties attacked. Trinamool and BJP traded charges against each other but the violence caused loss of lives and damage to property for both.
Political experts feel that in view of the situation, the Governor had summoned the leaders of different political parties requesting them to take urgent measures to put an end to the ongoing violence and restore peace and communal harmony in Bengal. They added that the meeting is not a prelude to impose Article 356 in the state.
They further maintained that during the Singur movement, the then Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi took the initiative to hold meetings between the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee to end the imbroglio that had cropped up over the movement. The meeting took place at the Kolkata Information Centre on September 12, 2008. Bhattacharjee was accompanied by the then state Housing minister Gautam Deb and Banerjee was accompanied by the then Leader Of Opposition Partha Chatterjee.