A section of intellectuals today castigated the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), the administration and the police, claiming that they have remained "silent spectators" while widespread violence is taking place in West Bengal during filing of nominations for next month's panchayat elections in the state.
While the TMC said the intellectuals were not aware of the real situation, the BJP demanded that they should admit their mistake in supporting the ruling party.
"Villagers are being subjected to violence and harassment. The leadership of the ruling party, the administration and the police are silent spectators," social activist Miratun Nahar said at a press conference called by the intellectuals from various fields to protest incidents of attacks on opposition candidates and supporters.
Stating that several of these intellectuals had stood up against violence against the people of Nandigram during the anti-land acquisition movement in 2007 against the then Left Front government in the state, theatre personality Bivas Chakraborty claimed that they are apolitical and have protested against any undemocratic activity.
He expressed apprehension as to what will happen during the three-phase elections in the first week of May, if so much violence is perpetrated during the nomination process.
"It is very painful when those whom we had supported act like those who they have replaced and resort to undemocratic means to win elections," said singer Pratul Mukhopadhyay.
He said domination is ultimately not good for those who are perpetrating such acts, and these acts are more harmful for the perpetrators than those they are trying to dominate.
"Ensuring a walkover by those in power in the state by preventing the opposition from filing nomination is not good. It amounts to incapacitation of democracy," Chatterjee, who had been appointed advocate general by the present dispensation in the state and had resigned later, said.
Shocked at the resentment among the intellectuals who had supported the party, TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said these eminent people are unaware of the real situation in the state.
Stating that both him and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have good relations with most of these intellectuals, Chatterjee said, "I shall want to know from them why they have given this statement and on the basis of what. We shall also want to know if the government has any fault."
Chatterjee also asked why they did not say a single word about armed processions by the BJP and the CPI(M).
The number of opposition candidates who have filed their nominations is maximum this time since the panchayat polls in 1988 when Left Front was in power, he said.
"Despite this, the CM maintains courtesy with the opposition and intellectuals," Chatterjee, also a senior minister, said.
"The intellectuals should now admit their mistake in supporting the TMC. There is no point about venting their frustration at this juncture," Ghosh said.
The Supreme Court also slammed the TMC for supplying it with false documents, he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)