Congress challenges Trinamool on inter-party clashes' data
Kolkata, July 10 (IANS) Endorsing Home Minister P. Chidamabaram's critical comments on inter-party clashes in West Bengal, state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya Tuesday challenged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to prove the veracity of the counter data presented by her.
"Lots of things have been said about Union home minister P. Chidambaram's statement regarding law and order. Mamata Banerjee has written a letter stating that Chidambaram's statement was wrong," said Bhattacharya.
"She and her cabinet colleagues have given some data. But what is the guarantee that the data they have given is right and the data given by the union home minister is wrong?" he said.
In a virtual snub to the state government, Chidambaram last week noted that inter-party clashes were continuing in West Bengal, adding that a "bullet-for-bullet" scenario had no place in a democracy.
To buttress his point, Chidambaram had said Thursday that 82 people were killed in about 455 inter-party clashes in the last six months and that it was not a "sign of democracy" in the Trinamool Congress-ruled state.
An infuriated Banerjee challenged Chidambaram the next day by shooting off an angry letter that described as "incorrect" the figures provided by the home minister on the number of deaths in inter-party clashes in the state.
Banerjee said only five people, including three from her party, had died in such clashes in the period mentioned by the union minister.
"I challenge the state government and Mamata Banerjee to prove that the figures presented by her regarding inter-party clashes are right. The people of this state have the democratic right to know the truth. If she can prove that the figures presented by us and Chidambaram are wrong, then we will accept our mistake," Bhattacharya said.
He also said that the state government was trying to deceive the people by presenting wrong data regarding violence in the state.
"Crime against women and violence in educational institutes have gone up to a large extent. And the state government is saying that crime graph has gone down," he said.
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