Article 356: Plea in SC seeks President rule in West Bengal for widespread post poll violence

Article 356: Plea in SC seeks President rule in West Bengal for widespread post poll violence

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 4 MAY: With the violence and arson continuing unabated in West Bengal following the declaration of the state assembly election results, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday alleging “widespread violence” in the aftermath of assembly polls in West Bengal and sought imposition of President’s rule, deployment of central forces and a probe by a retired apex court judge into the “targeted pogrom”.

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Earlier in the day, senior advocate and BJP’s national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia also moved the top court seeking CBI probe into violent incidents in the state during and after the poll process.

In the election, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul Congress stormed back to power for the third time, but hours after its win, Trinamul Congress workers allegedly unleashed terror on the BJP workers at different areas across the state leading to deaths of at least nine BJP workers. Hundreds of houses belonging to the BJP workers were ransacked, shops were looted and party offices were vandalized and set on fire.

On social media, videos and images surfaced of many BJP offices within the state being vandalised and workers being attacked. In Birbhum, BJP spoke about two women poll agents being gang-raped and many being molested.

BJP has alleged that TMC-backed goons have killed a number of its workers, attacked its woman members, vandalised houses, looted shops of the party members and ransacked party offices.

TMC has denied the charges.

The petitioner has requested for a direction from the apex court to the Centre to deploy central protection forces, including armed forces, for restoration of law and order in West Bengal.

In another move, advocate Gourav Goel of BJP has written to the President of India urging him to impose President Rule in West Bengal.

Interestingly, in 2007, Mamata Banerjee was demanding the use of Article 356 against the then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, citing events where the CM’s party was terrorising the state and using government machinery to intimidate and attack the voters.

Almost 14 years later, the state finds itself in the same position.

Under Article 356 of the Constitution, if a state government is unable to function according to Constitutional provisions, the Centre can take direct control of the state machinery.

The plea requested the court to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by retired Justice of the top court to look into involvement of politicians, if any, in the alleged targeted pogrom in West Bengal.

Tags: #SupremeCourt #DeathOfDemocracy #WestBengal #PresidentRuleInWestBengal #ArrestMamataBanerjee #Article356

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