‘This kind of premeditated attack on democratically elected leader is unprecedented’

Expressing shock over the “premeditated assault” on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Amit Mitra and other senior State Ministers in New Delhi, Governor M.K. Narayanan said on Wednesday that the incident was “serious enough to warrant a public apology” by the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

“This kind of attack on a democratically elected Chief Minister, the (State’s) Finance Minister and their Cabinet colleagues is unprecedented in India’s modern history and is serious enough to warrant a public apology by the Politburo of the CPI (Marxist),” Mr. Narayanan said, according to a statement issued from the Governor’s Secretariat at Raj Bhavan.

Asked for his comment, CPI (M) State secretary Biman Bose, who is also a member of the Politburo, said: “[The Governor’s] labelling of [the incident in New Delhi] as premeditated or pre-planned is an absolute lie.”

“He might know about police administration [but] he has no knowledge of the [the party’s] Politburo, Central Committee, [or] State Committee. This should not be given importance as this is because of ignorance”, Mr. Bose said.

Supporters of the Students Federation of India, who held protests outside Yojana Bhavan in New Delhi, had on Tuesday manhandled and heckled Mr. Mitra when he, along with Ms. Banerjee and other Ministers, went to meet Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

‘Blot on democracy’

Pointing out that those responsible for the attack and their instigators “have forfeited their right to function [within] a democratic framework,” Mr. Narayanan said the incident deserved to be “condemned in [the] strongest terms” and described the “unfortunate incident” as a “blot on India‘s cherished democratic values”.

Commenting on Mr. Bose’s reactions to the Governor’s statement, Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said “those who till the other day visited him every other hour and complimented [him on] doing a good job are now critical of him because what the Governor has said is the truth. This exposes the character of the CPI (M).”