Elections in J&K more peaceful than Bengal: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over poll violence, saying elections in Jammu and Kashmir were more peaceful than in her state.

The PM Modi, in an interview with News18 said most worrisome was the fact that people who believe in democracy and were “neutral”, were maintaining silence over the violence in Bengal. “They are forgiving everything else in their hatred for me and this will only create problems for the country,” the Prime Minister said.

A war of words ensued between the Bharatiya Janata Party and Trinamool Congress a day after violence and arson marred BJP president Amit Shah’s road show in Kolkata. While Trinamool Congress sought a meeting with the Election Commission on the issue, a Bharatiya Janata Party delegation urged the poll panel to bar West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from campaigning in the state and alleged that “constitutional machinery” has collapsed there.

Modi, while equating the situation in Bengal with that in Jammu and Kashmir, said elections were more peaceful in the latter. “During the panchayat elections in Kashmir, violence was not reported from even one polling booth. But during the same time, several people were killed during panchayat polls in Bengal; the houses of those who won were burnt down and they were forced to flee to Jharkhand and other states. Their only fault was that they won polls.”

“The BJP, Left and even the Congress raised the issue but those who consider themselves neutral maintained silence, thus emboldening such forces. Even the chopper of a BJP chief minister is not allowed to land in Bengal; neither are our rallies allowed in the state. This is because the government, especially Mamata Banerjee, is scared of neither the BJP, the Left nor the Congress,” the PM Modi said.