'Guv called meeting of parties at BJP's behest'

'Guv called meeting of parties at BJP's behest'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (PTI File Photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had convened a meeting of four major political parties in the backdrop of the post-poll violence in the state at the behest of the BJP.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said Tripathi had also called her to take part in the meeting, but she declined as law and order was a state subject and "not the governor's".

Tripathi has called the ruling TMC, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress at the meeting on Friday to have a discussion in creating "a harmonious situation, whereby peace and harmony prevailed for the benefit of the citizens".

"They (the governor) are the mouthpiece of the BJP. The BJP has asked him to hold an all-party meeting and that is why it has been called," Banerjee told reporters.

"He (Tripathi) had called me also. But I said I cannot go because you are the governor and I am the elected government. Above all, law and order is a state subject. It is not your subject," she said.

The governor could call people for a cup of tea or a peace meeting, the TMC supremo said, adding, "So I am sending a party representative there. He will go there, have a cup of tea and come back."

TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, Congress and CPI(M) state heads Somen Mitra and Surya Kanta Mishra are scheduled to participate in the meeting at the Raj Bhavan.

Post-poll violence has been reported from various places of West Bengal after the BJP secured 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, just four less than the TMC's 22.

Three men were killed in North 24 Parganas district's Sandeshkhali area on Saturday after clashes broke out between TMC and BJP workers.