The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday claimed that 14 party workers were killed and nearly a lakh people fled their homes in post-poll violence, charges which were denied as fabricated by the Trinamool Congress.
BJP president J P Nadda at a press conference in Kolkata claimed that 80,000 to one lakh people have left their homes in different parts of the state in the wake of Trinamool Congresss spectacular electoral victory and held Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responsible, alleging her silence (on the violence) speaks of her involvement.
Earlier in the day, Banerjee after taking oath for a third term in office said she would take strict action to stop any lawlessness and pointed out till her swearing in, the states law and order were supervised by the Election Commission which had changed many top-level police personnel responsible for tackling such incidents.
Condemning the 'brutal killings after the (election) results', Nadda alleged that 14 BJP workers have been killed and women molested and raped in various parts of the state.
The assembly election results were declared on May 2 with the ruling Trinamool Congress winning 213 of the 292 assembly seats.
"Mamata Banerjee's silence (on the violence) speaks of her involvement. She has blood on her hand," Nadda said.
During his two-day visit to the state from Tuesday, the BJP president visited the residences of some party workers who allegedly faced atrocities at the hands of TMC supporters.
Alleging attacks on BJP workers in Canning Purba constituency in South 24 Parganas district and destruction of villages, he said the people there have faced '(cyclone) Amphan last year and 'Mamataphan' this year'.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh however labelled the rival partys claims as fabricated and said most violence was because of intra-party spats within the BJP.
He also claimed that six TMC men had been killed.
Nadda claimed that people in north Bengal districts have been fleeing to neighbouring Assam to save their lives.
Asked whether the BJP was contemplating to seek imposition of Article 356 of the Constitution in West Bengal, he said that the procedure is that a report is sent by the governor, analysed by central agencies and Ministry of Home Affairs and a decision is then taken.
"So, it is for them to make the decision," he said.
Under Article 356, if a state government is unable to function according to Constitutional provisions, the Centre can take direct control of the state machinery.
"As far as the BJP is concerned, even if it is a fit case (for the imposition of Article 356), we are people who fight democratically," Nadda said.
The chief minister speaking to reporters at state secretariat 'Nabanna', claimed violence and clashes were occurring in areas where the BJP won the elections and added that most of the videos of violence being shared on social media were either fake or old.
"I have noticed that violence and clashes are taking place in those areas where the BJP have won the elections. These places can be seen as black spots," she said.
The chief minister said that when these incidents happened, the law and order was under the Election Commission.
"The law and order in West Bengal deteriorated in the last three months. There were some sporadic incidents and not all were real, most were fake. BJP is showing old videos," she claimed.
"I will appeal to all political parties to stop this (violence). Or else, law will take its course. Bengal is a land of peace, heritage and here we stay in peace with people from every section of the society," she said.
Hours after taking oath as the chief minister, Banerjee held a top-level meeting with senior officials of the state government, including Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Home Secretary HK Dwidevi on the present law and order situation.
She also reinstated Virender, as the Director- General of Police and Jawed Shamim as the ADG (Law and Order). Both the officers were removed from their respective posts by the Election Commission ahead of the polls.