ECI has lost all credibility, says Mamta after poll panel ban campaigning

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, came down heavily on the Election Commission of India and said the poll panel had lost its “credibility”.

According to The Telegrapgh reports, the Trinamul Congress chief on Wednesday evening said, “I know, it’s a constitutional body, but I am sorry to say that it has lost all credibility…. My sweet democracy is crying for justice.”

The immediate reactions comes on Wednesday after the Election Commission (EC) in an unprecedented move cut short the campaign period in West Bengal by a day for the final phase of Lok Sabha elections in view of the violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday.

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

Terming the order unprecedented, unconstitutional and unfair, the report added that Chief minister of West Bengal also urged all political parties, including the BJP allies and the people of Bengal to register a protest against the EC’s unprecedented action for cutting short the campaign time.

In a hurriedly convened media conference at Mamata’s Harish Chatterjee Street home, she said, “This is an emergency situation because of the Election Commission’s decisions…. But these are not EC decisions, these are Modi-Shah’s decisions.”

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“I am countering Modi and that’s why he is scared of me and scared of the people of Bengal…. Whatever the BJP and Modi-Shah are saying, the EC is doing,” she added.

Following the development, more than 20 parties including Akhilesh Yadav led- Samajwadi party, Mayawati led- BSP, and Rahul Gandhi led-Congress will be protesting against the Central government led by PM Modi and against the Election Commission of India (ECI) in West Bengal.

According to media reports, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu, MK Stalin-led DMK, Farooq Abdullah led- NC, Sharad Pawar led- NCP can also be the part of the united opposition protesting against the EC in Bengal.

Supporting Mamta Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday accused the EC of acting under pressure from the Central government. Questioning the timing of the campaign ban, Mayawati claimed the EC was being accommodative of the Prime Minister’s rallies in the state.

“It is very sad that the Election Commission has banned campaigning in West Bengal, but from 10 pm today just because the Prime Minister has two rallies in the day. If they had to impose this ban, why not from today morning? This is unfair and EC is acting under pressure. We condemn this in the strongest terms. If a ban had to be imposed it should have been from today morning itself,” Mayawati told ANI.

The decision was taken by the EC after the three-member commission held a meeting via video conference with the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal and other officials in the wake of Tuesday’s incidents over which BJP and the Trinamool Congress traded mutual allegations of being responsible for it.

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The Commission also directed that the controversial police official Rajiv Kumar, ADG CID, be relieved from his post and attached him to the Ministry of Home Affairs. “He should report to MHA by 10 am tomorrow.”

With agencies inputs

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