Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said in a television interview that she had ordered the administration to arrest Arabul Islam, a key leader of her Trinamool Congress party and a former legislator, blaming him for the grave law-and-order situation in Bhangar in South 24 Parganas in the suburbs of Kolkata, following the shooting of a supporter of an independent candidate in the panchayat elections at a rally.
For over a year, Bhangar has been on the boil with local residents opposing the setting up of a power substation led by an ultra-Left radical group, the CPI(ML) Red Star. This ultra-Left group has fielded 11 candidates in Bhangar to take on the Trinamool Congress. Nine of them filed nominations through electronic messaging with the permission of Calcutta High Court.
On Friday, an unidentified miscreant fired at one Hafizul Mollah while he was taking part in a rally in support of the independent candidates in Bhangar. He died immediately. Polling for the panchayat election is to be held on Monday.
Giving an interview to a Bengali television channel, the chief minister said for the first time that she had already prepared a succession plan, or a “political will", for her Trinamool Congress party as well as her administration. She alleged, without naming names, that the administration had come to know about a conspiracy to kill her, and that the police had asked her to move from her home out of concern for security. But she said she had declined to do so.
Asked what she was looking to achieve from next year’s general elections, Banerjee said she was only involved in building a strategy to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party, and that she was not trying to become the “king-maker".