Monday, June 17, 2024

‘Peace Room’ at Bengal Raj Bhavan likely to continue even after panchayat polls

The ‘Peace Room’ at the Raj Bhavan premises in Kolkata, which has been essentially opened for Governor C.V. Ananda Bose to have daily ground reports on incidents of clashes and violence over the forthcoming panchayat elections in the state, might continue to operate even after the polls are conducted and results announced.

The opening of the Peace Room was insisted upon by the Governor himself so that his office can have direct information about the violence from sufferers and eye-witnesses instead of indirect information from the state election commission or the state government.

Now with over 1,500 calls already received in the first three days at the helpline number of the Peace Room, and the inbox of the email opened for the purpose being flooded with complaints, sources said, the Governor is willing to continue operating the same initiative even if the results for the polls are announced on July 11. The polling date is scheduled on July 8.

Sources said that the Governor has reportedly told his close confidants that he wants the Peace Room to continue operating till “absolute peace is restored in West Bengal”.

It is learnt that the Governor’s House does not rule out the possibilities of continuing post-poll violence after the results are declared on July 11, in lines of what happened after the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections.

Sources said that the Governor has practical experience about the post-poll violence in 2021, since he was a part of the central fact-finding team which came to the state then to review the situation.

To recall, on June 19, while inaugurating the Peace Room, the Governor said that after the forthcoming polls for the three-tier panchayat system will be over, the real winners will be the common people. Recently the Governor also observed that during his field visit he has witnessed “deterioration in democracy” in different pockets of the state. His statement has attracted strong reactions from the ruling Trinamool Congress whose leadership has accused the Governor of acting beyond his constitutional limits.

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