Bengal government expected to perform its duty: Pranab

Sunday, December 26, 2010

KOLKATA - The central government expects the West Bengal government to perform its duty after it gets Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s letter asking it to curb the alarming political violence in the state, a senior minister said Sunday.

The state government has asserted that it has not received any such missive.

But confirming that Chidambaram had indeed sent the letter, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the state should reply after receiving it.

“When they will get the letter they should answer,” Mukherjee told reporters after attending a function at Burnpur in Burdwan district.

Earlier this week, Chidambaram, in a letter to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, said it was “a matter of grave concern that the political cadres have been given arms in the state. The violence presented an alarming picture, which was completely unacceptable in a democratic system.”

The home minister added that if these cadres “continue to take upon themselves the duties of maintaining law and order, I wonder what is the role of security forces, specially central paramilitary forces which have been deployed at the request of the state government”.

Mukherjee said: “The home minister has sent the letter. He has performed his duty. Now we expect the state government to perform its duty.”

However, the chief minister and state secretariat officials till Saturday denied any knowledge of such a letter from Chidambaram.

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