Parties discuss ways to ensure peace at meet called by Bengal governorPTI | Kolkata | Updated: 13-06-2019 22:00 IST | Created: 13-06-2019 21:54 IST
An all-party meeting convened by Governor K N Tripathi was held on Thursday to discuss steps to end political violence in West Bengal in which all the parties agreed on "certain points" regarding restoration of peace and harmony in the state. However, there was no joint declaration by the political parties, especially the main stakeholder the BJP and the TMC, who have been engaged in pitched battles in various parts of the state since the Lok Sabha polls.
"The leaders of the political parties expressed their views frankly and in detail about how to ensure peace and harmony in West Bengal. The governor feels that all the political parties should adopt a constructive approach for the welfare of the state and its people, and he appeals to the people to work unitedly for peace and harmony consistent with the culture and traditions of West Bengal," a statement issued by Raj Bhavan said. According to the statement, six points that were agreed upon stressed on the restoration of peace, democratic values and harmony.
"Democratic institutions, values and rights should be protected and there should be fair enforcement of the law and order. Violence should be stopped as the only loser due to violence is the state as a whole," the statement said.
"Peace and harmony should be restored and thereafter, maintained in the society. The media should also make a positive contribution to maintaining peace in the state. No provocative speeches should be made by anyone. The democratic and social fibre of West Bengal should not be disturbed and instead, efforts should be made to maintain it," it said.
After the meeting, BJP state vice president Jay Prakash Majumdar said the governor gave some suggestions, but the TMC's representative said he needs to consult the party. The TMC was represented in the meeting by its Secretary-General and state minister Partha Chatterjee.
Majumdar said the meeting proves that law and order situation has "completely failed" in the state. "The governor during the meeting gave few suggestions. We said we are ready to follow those suggestions. But, the friend from TMC said he needs to consult with the leadership," he told reporters. "If TMC's representative doesn't have any power to decide then why was he sent to the meeting," Majumdar said.
CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim alleged that both the BJP and the TMC were trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the state. "Both TMC and BJP are working towards destroying the values of peaceful coexistence and harmony of the state," he said.
Chatterjee, however, didn't talk to reporters. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the Governor's decision to call a meeting on the law and order issue and declined to attend it.
She alleged that the meeting was called at the behest of the BJP. "The governor could call people for a cup of tea or a peace meeting," the TMC supremo said, adding, "So I am sending a party representative there. He will go there, have a cup of tea and come back." The all-party meeting by governor comes just three days after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and apprised them of the situation in the state.