Kolkata (West Bengal): Hours after the Election Commission curtailed election campaign period in West Bengal for the final phase of Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the poll body of acting at the behest of BJP and termed the decision as “unfair” and “politically biased”.
Further, the Trinamool chief demanded action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
“This is not EC’s direction, it is BJP’s direction. This is the direction of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The EC’s decision is unfair, unethical and politically biased. Are you waiting for Prime Minister Modi to finish his two rallies tomorrow? You could have stopped campaigning from today evening?” Banerjee told reporters here.
In an unprecedented action, the EC cut short the campaigning period in West Bengal by a day for the final phase of the ongoing Sabha elections in view of the violence during Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday. 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
“No election campaigning to be held in nine parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal, namely Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, South and North Kolkata, from 10 pm tomorrow till the conclusion of polls,” Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar told media in New Delhi.
Campaigning was originally scheduled to end at 5 pm on Friday for the nine constituencies that will go to polls on May 19.
Tensions mounted yesterday after violence erupted during Shah’s roadshow when the statue of iconic social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised in a college named after him.
Continuing her tirade against EC, the TMC supremo questioned the poll body’s “unprecedented decision”, asking why it did not issue a showcause notice to Shah.
“Election Commission is running under the BJP. This is an unprecedented decision. Yesterday’s violence was because of Amit Shah. Why has EC not issued a showcause notice to him or sacked him?” Banerjee questioned.
“BJP goons were brought from outside. They created violence wearing saffron clothes similar to when Babri Masjid was demolished (in 1992),” she said.
Banerjee took on the Prime Minister for not condemning the violent clashes during Shah’s roadshow.
“Amit Shah created violence through his meeting. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue was vandalized, but Modi did not feel sorry for that today. People of Bengal have taken this seriously. Action should be taken against Amit Shah,” she said.
Countering claims by BJP that her government was “murdering democracy”, Banerjee said, “Amit Shah today did a press conference and threatened EC. Is this the result of that? Bengal is not scared. Bengal was targeted because I am speaking against Modi.”
“Bengal is not Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or Tripura. Bengal is Bengal. Barring few incidents where central forces were there, such things would have been avoided had state forces been deployed during elections,” she said while slamming BJP’s decision of imposing president’s rule in the state.
Asserting that she would continue to fight against the Prime Minister, Banerjee said that Modi should be “kicked out” from the country.
“Narendra Modi, you cannot take care of your wife. How can you take care of the country? You should be kicked out of the country. My fight is against you and will continue fighting. People of Bengal will give you a befitting reply,” the TMC supremo said.
Voting for nine seats in the state will be held in the seventh and final phase of the general elections on May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.