20:01 GMT20 June 2021
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    The results of West Bengal's state election held have fuelled violence between BJP and TMC supporters, with several deaths reported.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is to hold a three-day public programme between 1-3 June to discuss the current political situation in West Bengal. The core theme will be "Democracy being undermined in West Bengal with heinous crimes."

    Out of 292 assembly seats, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) won 213 against BJP's 77. It's the third time in a row Banerjee has won the assembly elections. 

    "State party chief Kailash Vijayvargiya will address the session and the discussion will be held on post-poll violence held in the state after the state result," several state BJP leaders told Sputnik.

    Earlier in May, at least 20 people – mostly linked to TMC and the BJP – died in clashes throughout West Bengal. The BJP also alleges that hundreds of its worker have died in India in the last two years. 

    The clashes erupted after the election result was announced on 2 May, with supporters of both parties reportedly brawling in the streets and vandalising shops and homes.

    BJP workers claim that at least 5,000 Hindu homes were destroyed, making 11,000 people homeless. Around 40,000 have reportedly been severely affected by the post-poll violence. 

    Political Spat Between Modi-Banerjee Widen 

    Although the BJP lost the election in many Indian states, including Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, and Delhi, it's yet to announce any public programmes.

    "The BJP sees Mamata Banerjee as the threat to them in the 2024 general assembly election. She's one of the important faces against Narendra Modi, and BJP see her as a threat," Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP minister who now supports Banerjee's party, told Sputnik. 

    Speaking about the political rivalry between Modi and Banerjee, Sanjay Kala, a political commentator, said, "Modi doesn't like someone challenging him in public. And Banerjee exactly does it. If you look at another non-BJP ruling state like Odisha, Punjab, or southern states, those state chief don't criticise Modi for everything, unlike Mamata Banerjee." 

    In the latest move, Banerjee refused to sack her state's chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay after he was summoned by the federal government to tell him he was fired.

    "Bandyopadhyay will stay and continue to manage the state's COVID crisis," Banerjee wrote in a letter to Indian PM Modi. 

    Banerjee and Bandyopadhyay skipped a Cyclone Yaas review meeting with Modi on Friday after the federal government ordered the transfer of Bandyopadhyay to Delhi. 

    The federal government appoints top bureaucrats in the Indian states and also decides on transfers and postings to departments.


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