There is no case for invoking Article 355 in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said while replying to an adjournment motion on the State’s law and order situation, brought in the Legislative Assembly by the Trinamool.
“The situation in West Bengal does not need the invoking of Article 355. The Centre too knows it,” he said. Mr. Bhattacharjee instead demanded a clear-cut statement from the Opposition as to whether they would join an all-party initiative to foster an atmosphere of peace and amity. He charged the Opposition with engaging in violence saying that they were raising accusing fingers, even while being the perpetrators. “The people are watching everything.”
Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim had to intervene to restore order amid disruptions during Mr. Bhattacharjee’s 15-minute speech. The house witnessed noisy scenes during the two-hour debate on the motion which was defeated by 100 votes.
The Chief Minister said that for electoral gains in North Bengal, the TMC had joined forces that were trying the split the State. They were also holding the hands of the Maoists, he said. This had begun from Nandigram and “ we have evidence of this,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.
Inviting the opposition to ‘adjourn’ their effort to adjourn Assembly sessions, Mr. Bhattacharjee said they could instead join hands with the government for the State’s development. He made a jibe at the leader of the Opposition in the house Partha Chatterjee of Trinamool for converting himself into a student leader, stoking the fire of unrest at college campuses. He referred to the recent violence at a blood donation camp in Habra. Earlier Mr. Chatterjee moved the adjournment motion to protest against what he said was state-wide terror and a deteriorating law and order position in West Bengal. His party colleague Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said, of the 1794 people killed in West Bengal, 845 were political killings of which 175 belonged to the CPI (M). MLAs sitting on the Treasury Benches said the Opposition had become impatient to ascend to power. “They are destroying the calm of the State.”
In his reply, Mr. Chatterjee wanted the government to unearth all illegal arms. He reiterated that the government had lost its ability give its citizens an atmosphere of good governance and security.