Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 20
The meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma witnessed heated exchanges between BJP and TMC members on Wednesday as the two sides accused each other of unleashing political violence in West Bengal.
The meeting of the Parliamentary panel was called today to discuss ‘Atrocities and Crimes against Women & Children’ in Haryana and West Bengal, where senior officials of the two states gave presentations relating to the issue.
Sources privy to the deliberations said TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar responded to allegations that were leveled by BJP member Anil Jain on the rising political violence in West Bengal by engaging him in an argument with counter-accusations.
Without explicitly naming the BJP, the TMC MP retorted saying that the youth wing of a political outfit in West Bengal has been targeting women in the state, especially TMC workers.
On this, the other BJP members on the panel countered Dastidar by accusing the TMC of carrying out political violence in the State and claimed that many of their party workers have been killed in the last few months.
The state is scheduled to go for assembly elections in April-May this year and the BJP is seen as a key political challenger to the two-term TMC government in the state.
Meanwhile, Sharma intervened to calm the nerves of the members and asked them to look into the specifics and stick to the agenda.
It is learnt from sources that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of West Bengal were present at the meeting, who in their presentation claimed that the number of cases of crime against women have reported a sharp decline and credited it to the State government’s schemes like “Kanyashree” (which incentivises families to keep their daughters in school and not to marry them off before the legal age of 18) for the drop in the number of cases.
However, sources said BJP members put the officials through probing questions and asked them to explain why the State continued to be the nerve centre of human trafficking. The officials told the panel that they would submit a reply on the issue in a few days.