Escalating Violence in West Bengal: Calls for Amit Shah to Act Against CM Mamata Banerjee

Paromita Das

GG News Bureau

New Delhi, 20 June. Allegations often surface that supporters and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) face attacks from goons affiliated with the Trinamool Congress (TMC). These incidents reportedly include assaults, rapes, murders, and forced evictions from their homes. Despite the repeated cycle of violence, questions arise regarding the central government’s response, particularly why Home Minister Amit Shah has not taken more stringent actions against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her administration.

Historical Context of Political Violence in West Bengal

West Bengal’s political environment has a long history of electoral violence, which predates the current TMC-BJP rivalry. The state has seen fierce political battles since the days of the Left Front government. However, the nature of these conflicts has evolved, particularly since the TMC, under Mamata Banerjee, came to power in 2011.

From a justice standpoint, this concerning practice has persisted since the Left Front era. At the period, Congress and the TMC were subjected to atrocities committed by Marxist fanatics. When Mamata Banerjee seized control in Bengal in 2011, she promised ‘change,’ but the situation worsened. TMC, on the other hand, has trailed the communist front in incidences of violence against opposition workers, particularly BJP members.

Post-Election Violence: A Persistent Issue

The cruelty of TMC is conveniently ignored by the national “liberal” media, which may not come as a surprise to anyone outside of Bengal. Many are surprised by the BJP leadership’s incapacity to shield its employees and supporters from the TMC’s wrath and, more importantly, by the government of Mamata Banerjee’s incapacity to prosecute opposition workers for their misdeeds. After nearly every election in Bengal, reports of violence surface, highlighting a pattern of retribution and clashes. These reports often involve:

  1. Assaults and Physical Violence: TMC supporters allegedly attacking BJP workers and supporters, resulting in injuries and fatalities.
  2. Sexual Violence: Incidents of rape have been reported as part of the post-election violence, aimed at instilling fear and punishment.
  3. Murders: There have been numerous reports of politically motivated killings.
  4. Forced Evictions: BJP supporters have been reportedly driven out of their homes and villages, forced to seek shelter elsewhere until they can safely return.

The Role of Amit Shah and the BJP Government

Amit Shah, as the Home Minister of India, holds significant authority over internal security and law enforcement matters. Critics and supporters alike have questioned his approach and the overall stance of the BJP government regarding the situation in West Bengal. In rural and semi-urban areas as well as in urban slums, the majority of BJP leaders in Bengal have failed to stand by their defenceless workers. The majority of BJP officials and leaders have limited their criticism of TMC’s crimes to social media. With rare exceptions, the party has not helped its employees or supporters who have had their homes damaged torn down.

Several factors could be influencing the response:

  1. Federal Structure and Political Strategy: India’s federal structure limits the Central Government’s direct intervention in state matters. While the central government can deploy central forces and issue advisories, law and order primarily remain under the state’s jurisdiction. Direct intervention might be perceived as overreach and could have political ramifications.
  2. Political Calculations: The BJP might be weighing the political costs and benefits of taking stringent actions. Direct confrontation with Mamata Banerjee could galvanize her support base and be counterproductive to the BJP’s broader political strategy in the state.
  3. Legal and Procedural Constraints: Any action against a state government must be legally and procedurally sound. Immediate and harsh actions without substantial evidence and due process could face legal challenges and be criticized as undemocratic. The central BJP leadership has stressed “legally” opposing TMC’s brutality by requesting court interventions and filing complaints with organizations such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), even as they have issued statements denouncing political violence in Bengal. But going it alone is costly and time-consuming, and there’s no way for organizations like the NHRC to take action against State Governments.
  4. Dialogue and Diplomacy: There may be ongoing efforts behind the scenes involving dialogue and diplomacy aimed at addressing the violence without escalating tensions further. The central government might be pursuing a more measured approach to avoid exacerbating the situation.

The Human Cost

The families of the deceased mourn quietly, and the injured receive treatment, but the trauma of violence leaves lasting scars. Displaced people often return to their homes, but the fear of recurrence lingers. Civil society organizations, human rights groups, and the media continue to document these incidents, calling for justice and accountability.

Conclusion

The cycle of violence in West Bengal underscores the deep-seated political rivalries and the challenges of maintaining law and order in a charged electoral environment. The central government, led by Amit Shah in his capacity as Home Minister, faces a complex array of legal, political, and strategic considerations in deciding how to respond to the situation. While there are calls for tougher actions, the path forward involves balancing immediate security concerns with long-term political stability and respect for federal principles.

The BJP would enter a crisis in Bengal and be primed for a dismal showing in the 2026 state elections if its national leadership does nothing more than criticize and show weakness. Bengal might entirely eradicate the BJP, BJP leaders and supporters warn, unless swift and decisive action is taken.

 

 

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