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Great opportunity for Bengal to do image makeover: Governor Dhankhar on assembly polls

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New Delhi, Jan 09: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday expressed concern over the "violent" atmosphere in the state under the governance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and appealed to the people to vote "wisely".

Jagdeep Dhankhar

"The year 2021 is challenging for West Bengal as it goes for Assembly polls. It's a great opportunity for West Bengal to engage in a makeover of image as so far elections in the state have been plagued with rampant violence, compromising basic rights of voters and the role of bureaucracy and police," the Governor said.

"It's time for us to set an example by engaging in best practices so that every voter is in a position to freely, fairly express their franchise in a peaceful atmosphere where violence has no role," Dhankhar said after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi.

Talking about the security threat that terrorist organisations such as the Al Qaeda pose in the state, the Governor said that the police in the state act under political influence.

"The security environment (in WB) is under threat. The Al Qaeda is spreading, illegal bomb-making is rampant. I'd like to know what they (administration in the state) are doing. The position of the Director General of Police in West Bengal is an open secret. That's why I say we have 'political police'," he said.

BJP launches farmers outreach campaign in Bengal; Nadda highlights Modi's pro-farmers face

Dhankhar also said that no one living in West Bengal will be considered as an "outsider".

"My heart pains that ignoring constitutional provisions, a child of 'Maa Bharti' is called an outsider in West Bengal because he doesn't belong to the state. We're all the children of 'Maa Bharti' and we believe in our unity. No person living in this land can be an outsider," he said.

Dhankhar, who had been at loggerheads with the TMC government since taking charge as the Bengal governor, has criticised the Mamata Banerjee dispensation on several occasions over the "worsening" law and order situation in the state.

BJP leaders in Bengal have been demanding imposition of President''s Rule in the state, citing "breakdown of the rule of law" as reason.

Elections to the 294-member Bengal Assembly are likely to be held in April-May.

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