Bengal: Congress’s Ahmed Patel questions EC’s decision, defended TMC

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday came down heavily on the Election Commission after it cut short campaigning period in West Bengal.

The senior party leader defended the Trinamool Congress and blamed the BJP leadership for smashing the statue of Sir Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar by terming the act as an insult to the people of West Bengal.

Taking to Twitter, Patel wrote: “We condemn the destruction of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue. This insult to the people of Bengal by BJP will never be forgiven. Greed for power will see the BJP dismantle every icon of Bengal, their legacy and the culture that they helped build.”

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He questioned the poll body’s decision and asked if the situation in the state was severe, why did the commission not ban campaigning with immediate effect. Patel said, “If situation in Bengal is so severe that campaigning must be stopped, why is EC waiting until tomorrow (Thursday)? Is it because the PM has scheduled rallies tomorrow?”

“Isn’t it unprecedented that EC claims it’s an unprecedented situation in West Bengal but yet is waiting for PM to complete his public meetings?” he tweeted.

On Thursday, PM Modi is scheduled to address election rallies in Mathurapur and Dumdum.

Campaigning was originally scheduled to end at 5 pm on Friday for the nine constituencies that will go to polls on May 19.

On Wednesday, the Election Commission decided to cut short the campaign period in the state after the violence was reported during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow on Wednesday.

BJP and TMC on Wednesday traded charges accusing each other of letting loose violence during Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took out a 7-km-long protest march in the state capital.

The two parties also blamed each other over the vandalisation of the statue of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in a college named after him during Shah’s roadshow.

With ANI inputs

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