Bengal Governor links availability of explosives to election violence

West Bengal Governor, Jagdeep Dhankar, Governor of West Bengal, West Bengal elections, India news, Indian Express

Civic polls in Bengal are scheduled to be held later this year and Assembly polls are due in 2021.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday voiced concern over the recent cases of recovery of explosives, and wondered if elections could be held without violence in the state under the circumstances.

Civic polls in Bengal are scheduled to be held later this year and Assembly elections are due in 2021.

“West Bengal has produced so many noted personalities and Nobel Laureates which no other state has done. How can this land become a place for violence? Whenever there is a blast, my heart bleeds. It (blast) causes loss to people. How can explosives be so freely available here? If that is the case then how can elections be non-violent here? We have to look into this,” Dhankhar said on the sidelines of an event here.

Crude bombs were recently recovered from Birbhum and East Bardhaman districts in the state, while illegal fireworks, seized from manufacturing units in North 24 Parganas, went off on January 9, when police were making attempts to defuse them.

Meanwhile, the Governor said that he believed in “moving forward” with the Trinamool Congress government in the state, with which he has had several run-ins.

“There should be mutual trust between the two sides,” he said.

Two days after he delivered his Budget speech drafted by the state government, sticking to the convention, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said there was no harm in following “parampara” (tradition), if all conditions are met with.

Speculation was rife that Dhankhar, who had frequent run-ins with the Mamata Banerjee dispensation, might add or omit portions to the Budget speech, after his request for changes in the text was rejected by the state government.

The Governor, while talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event, said the government had initially submitted the speech to him without any supporting document. “I had said that it was not possible for me (to read out the speech) without going through those papers. The state Finance Minister (Amit Mitra) then met me and requested me to deliver the speech as per parampara (tradition) and the officials brought necessary documents,” he stated.