Images and clips of alleged murder, arson and vandalism have been doing the rounds on social media. Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress allege that their workers have been killed in political violence in the last 36 hours. While the BJP says 9 of its workers were killed, the TMC claims 3 of its cadres were murdered. The CPI(M) and the ISF allege that one of their workers each had been killed. However, no confirmation of the allegations has been made yet.
The BJP also alleged that two of its workers had been gang raped. This allegation however has been refuted by the West Bengal police as fake.
Jagdeep Dhankar, the Governor of West Bengal on Monday had summoned the State Home Secretary, DGP of West Bengal and Commissioner of Kolkata Police to submit reports on the alleged incidents of violence. The Governor also spoke to Mamata Banerjee about the situation in the state and expressed his concern.
Following such reports, Mamata Banerjee appealed to her cadres to maintain peace. “Elections are over now...Sometimes it becomes very heated,” Banerjee said. “There is also no denying that Bharatiya Janata Party and the central forces committed atrocities. I will request all to stay peaceful.”, she said. “At present, we have to fight Covid-19.”, she added.
Derek O’ Brien, Trinamool MP and the party’s chief national spokesperson, in a statement Monday, said that the violence was actually because of factional clashes within the BJP. “All cases on social media are BJP intra-party fights. They have more than three factions in Bengal. They hate each other,” he said in a tweet.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has meanwhile called for a nationwide dharna on May 5. BJP President JP Nadda is also visiting the state for a two-day trip on May 4 and 5, during which he will meet the families of all BJP workers affected in the post-poll violence.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has also asked for a report from the West Bengal government in response to alleged incidents of “post-election violence against opposition political workers in the state”.