There were only a few "stray post-poll clashes" in West Bengal and the situation in the state was "under control", the Mamata Banerjee government said Sunday in a letter to the centre, which had issued an advisory earlier in the day after four people died in violence between workers of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP. The centre had expressed concern over "unabated violence" in the state over the past few weeks.
State Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De wrote that "firm and appropriate actions" were initiated in all cases of violence without any delay.
"There have been a few stray post-poll clashes in the state perpetrated by some anti-social elements, the law enforcement authorities have been taking firm and appropriate actions in all such cases without any delay," Mr De wrote in the letter to the Union Home Ministry.
The BJP has called a "Black Day" in Bengal today after it was allegedly prevented by the police from holding the funeral of its workers, killed in political clashes, on a highway near Kolkata.
"The situation is under control and it may not be construed under any circumstance to be a failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the State to maintain the rule of law and impure confidence among the people," the letter read.
Earlier in the day, the central government expressed "deep concern" over continuing violence in the state, saying the "unabated violence" even after the Lok Sabha polls appears to be a failure on part of the West Bengal administration.
In the advisory, the Home Ministry asked the state government to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquillity.
"The unabated violence over the past weeks appears to be a failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the state to maintain the rule of law and inspire confidence among people," the advisory said.
The Bengal BJP had approached home minister Amit Shah, who is president of the party, claiming three of its workers were killed by Trinamool Congress workers in the North 24 Parganas. This was the third instance of violence in the last 10 days, in which one Trinamool worker was also killed.
"The unabated violence over the past weeks appears to be a failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the state to maintain the rule of law and inspire confidence among people," read the home ministry's advisory to the state.
The Trinamool called it a conspiracy against the Mamata Banerjee government. "Why are they sending advisories to Bengal, a peaceful state? Why no advisory to UP and Gujarat? It's a conspiracy against Mamata Banerjee, Bengal and the government. We dare them impose Article 356 (President's Rule)," party leader Partha Chatterjee said.
West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, who had expressed concern over "loss of lives" in the clashes, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in Delhi. He said he only wants to congratulate him for his election victory.
The workers of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP have been on a spiral of violence as the turf war in Bengal gains momentum. In the recently-held Lok Sabha election, the BJP increased its tally from two to 18 of the state's 42 seats. Mamata Banerjee's party was slightly ahead with only 22 seats.
With the next prize being the assembly elections two years away, the Trinamool is determined not to cede any space. Ms Banerjee had skipped Prime Minister Narendra Modi's oath after the BJP said they would ferry the families of 52 murdered party workers to Delhi for the ceremony.
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