Governor's Sharp Message To "Younger Sister Mamata Banerjee" After Oath

"I have every hope that the Chief Minister on an urgent basis will take all the steps to restore the rule of law," the Governor said, referring to the post-poll violence in Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee said her first priority would be to tackle Covid.

New Delhi:

Moments after swearing in Mamata Banerjee for her third straight term as West Bengal Chief Minister, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar sent out a sharp message to her on the post-poll violence in Bengal.

"Our first priority is to bring an end to the senseless, horrendous post-poll violence...I have every hope that the Chief Minister on an urgent basis will take all the steps to restore the rule of law. I have every hope that the Chief Minister, my younger sister, will rise to the occasion," Mr Dhankhar said, Mamata Banerjee by his side.

"You have to rise above partisan interests. I am sure you will script a new governance pattern," he said, addressing the Chief Minister, who stared grimly ahead.

Since the election verdict on Sunday, there have been clashes in parts of Bengal involving both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP. Both parties have traded blame for the violence.

Mamata Banerjee had, moments before the Governor's comments, said her first priority would be to tackle the Covid crisis and she would start off with a meeting with her top officers.

Next on her agenda, she said, was to handle the law and order situation. She has accused the BJP of stirring violence and communal tension after losing the election. On the other hand, the BJP's top leaders allege that Trinamool Congress workers have murdered its members and set their homes on fire.

"I appeal to all political parties to maintain peace. Bengal does not like violence. Please take proper care that there is no violence," the Chief Minister said, before handing the mic to the Governor, whom she has often accused of openly taking the BJP's side and targeting her government.

"I will tackle law and order from today. That is my second job - to post people in law and order," she said.

When the violence started on Sunday, Ms Banerjee had said the Election Commission was still in charge of law and order in the state and she would take over only after her oath.

She received a reminder moments after the ceremony.

"I congratulate Mamata Banerjee for her third term. It is not usual for anyone to win three terms. I hope governance will be according to the constitution and the rule of law. We are in a very difficult crisis,"  Mr Dhankhar said.

Yesterday, the Governor said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to him and had expressed concern about the "deteriorating law and order" situation.

Ms Banerjee, in an interview to NDTV, said there was "sporadic violence" that happens after any state election, and accused the BJP of inciting clashes in areas where it won. "It is their baby. They have spoiled the situation. Some sporadic incidents are there, but that will be tackled. After election, it happens in every state. I don't want any violence or anything. BJP is trying to create communal clash, because of their shameful defeat," she said.