With reports of intermittent clashes between workers of Trinamool Congress and CPI(M), the Centre has asked the West Bengal Government to strictly ensure law and order whatever be the provocation for the political violence.

“I did speak to the Chief Minister (Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee) and impressed upon him that whatever be the cause of the inter-party clashes, it is the duty of the state government to maintain law and order,” Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here on Thursday.

He was replying to questions on Wednesday’s clashes between workers of CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress at Khanakul in Hooghly district and whether the Centre was seeking any report from the state government.

Observing that the Centre has been asking for reports from the state from time to time, Mr. Chidambaram said in regard to Wednesday’s incident, he had spoken to the Chief Minister.

“I did tell the Chief Minister that you must ensure that law and order is maintained whatever be the provocation for the clashes,” he said.

Ahead of the assembly by-polls in ten constituencies on November seven, the state has been witnessing sporadic clashes between Trinamool and CPI(M) activists.