The lawlessness in West Bengal under the fascist and violent Mamata Banerjee regime shows no sign of abating. Two newly-elected councillors were shot dead in separate incidents on Sunday.
In Purulia district’s Jhalda Municipality, four-time Congress local councillor Tapan Kandu was shot and rushed to a hospital in Ranchi, Jharkhand, where he succumbed to his injuries. The Congress accused the ruling TMC of killing Kundu and called for a 12-hour bandh in the district.
No party got a clear majority in Jhalda Municipality in the recently concluded civic polls.
“There is no democracy in West Bengal. Our elected representative Tapan Kandu was shot dead by TMC goons to stop Congress from forming the board in Jhalda. They have eliminated him to have an advantage in the hung board,” said state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury. TMC refuted the charge.
In the second incident, Anupam Dutta, a TMC councillor of Panihati Municipality in North 24 Parganas district, was shot by unknown miscreants from a close range in Panihati on Sunday evening.
TMC swept the Panihati Municipality in recent polls, winning 33 of the 35 wards, with CPM and Congress winning 1 each.
The Trinamool Congress accused BJP for Dutta’s killing, but BJP pointed out its total absence in Panihati Municipality and stated that an internal TMC factional fight probably led to the murder.
Overall, the ruling party swept the recent civic polls ‘winning’ 102 out of 108 municipalities, with no opposition in 31 civic bodies. 2 municipalities – Sainthia in Birbhum district and Budge Budge in South 24 Parganas district – were won uncontested by TMC as there just weren’t enough Opposition candidates in most wards!
There was wide-spread rigging, and intimidation of both Opposition candidates and voters in these elections, as has now become the norm for any kind of election in WB. BJP was not able to file nomination papers in a number of wards across several municipalities. Journalists were also attacked ruthlessly to prevent them from reporting the ground reality.
Dr. Sukanta Majumdar, MP and BJP West Bengal state president, shared the news of the two councilors who were shot dead, lamenting the never-ending political violence in his home state.
The extent to which the law & order situation in West Bengal has deteriorated, and elections reduced to a farce, can be gauged from the fact that even an anti-Hindu news outlet like The Hindu was forced to report the partial truth despite usual attempts to play things down by claiming “no major incidents of violence during the nomination process”. Thuggish TMC leaders like Anubrata Mondal and Udayan Guha are openly threatening and mocking citizens with slogans like ‘Khela Hobe (‘game is on’) and ‘Duare Prahar’ (thrash them at their doorstep, i.e. don’t let Opposition people leave their house), and our state apparatus is just twiddling its thumbs.
Showing unnatural alacrity, a suspect has already been arrested by WB police for the TMC councilor’s murder. Amit Pandit, an alleged contract killer, was arrested after cops set fire in a jungle near the spot to capture the accused who was in hiding. There is no update as yet of any arrests over the Congress councilor’s murder.
TMC’s endgame – total destruction of Opposition and de facto dictatorship
Here is an analysis of the reign of political terror in West Bengal that you will not get to read in the sanitized and Mamata-cheering op-eds of our mainstream media like Times Of India, Indian Express etc:
The political terror in Bengal is being perpetrated methodically. See who are targeted the most? Opposition politicians at the local body levels and lower, rather than MPs, MLAs. The latter set have security, more, their murders would lead to greater outcry.
Cleansing opposition at grassroot level would destroy organization and ensure that those at higher levels can’t get elected sans a wave. Politics is also about disbursal of patronage, day to day local presence and help, that can’t be done w/o control of local bodies.
Let’s see the situation in Birbhum, one of the worst places in WB vis a vis political terror. Opposition is allowed to field MLA, MP candidates but not local body candidates. Some horrifying stats:
Birbhum District Municipalities: 2 large municipalities: Bolpur, Suri 3 medium to small municipalities: Sainthia, Rampurhat, Dubrajpur Bolpur 2022: 10/22 Wards went uncontested, BJP not allowed to field any candidate (It is the principal TMC target now).TMC got 89.37% votes cast!
Suri: Contest in only 5/19 wards. BJP contested in 4, LF in 2, INC in 2: Sainthia: Contest in only 2/16 Wards, TMC secured 94.91% votes cast Dubrajpur: Contest in only 11/16 Wards, only Independents contested in 1 Ward, BJP contested in 7 Wards, LF contested in 6.
That no one would contest Wards in a politicized state like West Bengal out of good will and respect for any party is inconceivable. The number of no contests and the percentage of votes cast for Tolamul (TMC) shows no political party other than TMC is allowed to function in Birbhum
Birbhum is the home of Anubrata Mondal, the Tolamuli thug who runs to hospital every time CBI calls him. Is the terror in Birbhum his doing? Or did he inherit it? Let’s examine 2013, 2015 Municipalities, 2-4 years after LF ended.126
2015 Bolpur: BJP 23.05% LF 10.12% INC 10.01% Suri: BJP 23.87% LF 8.45% INC 20.41% Sainthia: BJP 27.94% LF 3.14% INC 7.33% Rampurhat: BJP 23.28% LF 18.06%, INC 10.49% 2013 Dubrajpur BJP 10.93% LF 18.61% INC 24.8% Reasonably thriving multi-party democracy
BJP had a genuine base in Birbhum, 25% odd votes in all 4 Municipalities that went to poll in 2015. Partly because of some good Adibasi leaders, Dudhkumar Mondol, Kalosona Mondol, partly because BJP was not the principal target of political terror (except by Islamists)
Who sidelined Dudhkumar & Kalosona? WB BJP President Dilu of course. Dilu has long been in tandem with Tolamul. Sidelining Dudhkumar & Kalosona accelerated the spread of Tolamuli political terror, but it was only a question of speed.
No political org can resist police+lumpens, unless it has an underground component, which would make it a revolutionary organization. Without intervention by state, the current state was inevitable.
Tolamul wants to replicate the Birbhum model on every district, this is also what the vote loot, with specific target on Suvendu’s, Arjun Singh’s, Adhir’s bastions was about. Neutralize all those who have mass base, wean their org, make WB 1-party totalitarian police state.
This is also why Tolamul needs to go.
Anecdotally, I visited Birbhum for a couple of days in Aug 2021. To visit Hindu pilgrimage sites, Tarapith & some other Shakti Piths there. Even in those few days the ambience of terror was unmistakable. I saw shops that were set on fire because owners hung BJP flags pre-elections.
I met people who made fun of Tolamul supremo’s foot-injury drama in private, but loudly proclaim allegiance to Tolamul in public. I met BJP workers who said public opinion isn’t expressed through elections because of political terror.
Election under central forces won’t change anything. Because political organizations have been wiped out before, this is what the unbelievable number of no contests in Municipal polls show. Voters & political workers know that central forces would leave post poll, thugs would remain
Birbhum needs to be declared disturbed area right now based on the above stats, deploy army/CRPF, cleanse the thugs, retain the disturbed area tag for a year. If Kashmir can be placed under President’s rule, why can’t other places with similar condition?
W/o having local presence opposition won’t be able to field polling agents from the local booth, that is, even when central forces are present. Polling agents who aren’t local won’t know who is voting for whom as they don’t know faces. This is how one can do quite a bit of chappa (fake voting)
Now see how Tolamul won even Hindu seats of Birbhum in VS 21? Despite Anubrata Mondal being kept away? Despite his rampant thuggery? He has cleansed off opposition political organizations, Tolamul is the only one allowed to function there. Plus religious demography, plus doles.
This is also why Tolamul ruthlessly loots local body polls. Opportunity (pliant SEC, police) but also necessity. Those who control the local bodies start with a huge advantage in VS, LS, particularly where poverty, lack of education is high & populace needs greater help.
Let’s see how ruthless Tolamul is about maintaining control on local bodies. Jhalda is one of few municipalities which was hung. Congress was in contention along with Tolamul. Yesterday a Congress councilor was shot dead there. Not any councilor. A 3-time elected one & ex Chairman
Why this councilor was targeted in particular and not other Congress ones? My guess: because given his stature he was leading the local effort to form Board and liquidating him would thwart all such attempts & intimidate the others into submission to TMC or inaction.
This is a blueprint of how an opposition free state is being created through political terror. The perpetrating organization is obviously a terrorist one. Repeat: terror needn’t always be religious, though religion may be combined with other motives.
And these two tweets summarize the bottom-line of West Bengal today:
Suvendu Adhikari: Where TMC has taken WB to, only way to recover is through intervention by center, there is no other way, even TMC’s own councilors are being shot point blank, does it happen in any other state? youtu.be/S04yEJ8g8aw PS: Am saying the same for a while
Logic is simple. Currently WB is afflicted with large scale political terror perpetrated by the ruling party. Only center has resources to counter terror. Political parties don’t. Do we send political parties to fight terror in Kashmir? Or do we send Army & CRPF ? President rule
It is a travesty that West Bengal hasn’t been placed under President’s Rule yet. When SC Justices like DY Chandrachud refuse to even deploy central forces for elections in this disturbed state, one develops some sympathy for the hesitation of the central government (but nothing explains their utter silence and reluctance to even demand answers from West Bengal govt under Article 355), and understands the frightening power the Nehruvian ecosystem still exercises over our state apparatus despite being comprehensively rejected in almost all major elections for the last 8 years.
Democracy, what democracy?