KOLKATA: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the law and order situation in West Bengal need improvement, drawing a sharp reaction from ruling Trinamool Congress which accused him of speaking like a party leader, rather than a central minister.
Singh today criticised the law and order situation in West Bengal today, saying it needed to improve and described the reports of crude bombs being made in the state as a matter of "serious concern".
"The NIA is an autonomous body and doing its job (probing Burdwan blast). But as far as the law and order situation is concerned in Bengal, we think it needs to improve. A lot of things need to be done regarding it," Singh said.
"The way reports of crude bombs being made in Bengal are coming up, it is a matter of serious concern. We assure the state government of all kinds of assistance for the sake of development and improvement in the law and order situation," Singh said at a presser here.
Recently, 12 people were killed in a blast at Pingla in West Midnapore district and a blast in a local train in North 24-Parganas district.
The TMC and the state government were quick to hit back.
"The law and order situation in Bengal is far better than other states. Rajnath Singh was speaking like a party leader and not a central Minister. Was he trying to please his party workers?" Trinamool Congress parliamentary minister Partha Chatterjee wondered.
"Union Home Minister has gone beyond his jurisdiction while criticising state law and order issue, which is a state subject," he said.
Asked to comment on media reports of radical outfits like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) trying to set up base in Bengal with the help of a section of ruling Trinamool Congress, Singh said, "As I said, the central government will provide all kinds of assistance to the state government to tackle such kind of activities."
Singh while addressing a rally in the evening also said that the issue of law and order and attack on opposition parties was a matter of concern.
"Violence can't be a solution. The crude bomb blasts in the state are a matter of concern," Singh said.
Singh also expressed confidence that India and Bangladesh would soon approve Teesta water sharing agreement.
"Both the countries will give their approval to it very soon. We are hopeful that we will get full cooperation from the West Bengal government," Singh said at a press conference.
Chatterjee also described the comments on Teesta treaty as 'uncalled for'.
"He should not have spoken about Teesta water sharing treaty without consulting the state government. We can't accept these comments of the Union Home Minister and we strongly protest," Chatterjee said.
Singh's criticism of the law and order situation in Bengal comes in the backdrop of opposition allegations of bonhomie between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
Opposition CPI(M) and Congress had alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's sharing of dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a IISCO programme in Burnpur was the result of an understanding between BJP and TMC that CBI would go slow on the Saradha scam probe and the latter would help BJP in passing of bills in Rajya Sabha where the saffron party does not have majority.