Omar, Mehbooba hail Mamata for standing against BJP, question EC

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and her predecessor Omar Abdullah have extended support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is locked in a bitter fight with BJP, while questioning the Election Commission’s decision to ban campaigning in the state from 10 PM today.

Taking to Twitter, Mufti hailed ‘lioness’ Mamata for speaking to BJP in the ‘language it understands’ and wrote, “Finally there’s a lioness like Mamata Official who can speak the language BJP understands. Leaders like her, Mayawati and Priyanka Gandhi have shown gumption and stood up to the ruling party. These elections are a watershed moment for women in Indian politics entrenched in patriarchy”.

She also accused the Election Commission of being biased. “Bengal plunged into chaos and violence on Tuesday. Why did it take ECI 2 days to impose a ban on campaigning? Was it to facilitate PM’s rallies? Such brazen bias by a constitutional body proves its subservient to the whims and fancies of BJP. How low will BJP stoop to wrest power?” her tweet read.

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Echoing similar views, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asserted that the TMC chief will emerge victorious after the announcement of results.

“The BJP can team up with the EC in West Bengal, they can have a tailor-made campaign designed to fragment and polarise the electorate, they can have all their model code violations overlooked. None of it will matter because on the 23rd Mamata Official didi will sweep West Bengal”, Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

The political heat between TMC and BJP intensified after the latter’s national president Amit Shah’s road-show was marred with violence on Tuesday. The smashing of Bengali icon Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar’s statue added fuel to the fire as both BJP and TMC traded allegations over the vandalism.

On Wednesday, the poll commission invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to cut short campaigning in West Bengal by a day after violence and clashes between BJP and TMC workers at Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata.

Elections to 33 seats have taken place in West Bengal in the first six phases of elections. The remaining nine seats will go to polls on May 19 and counting of votes will take place on May 23.


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