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Bhabanipur bypoll: Barred from campaigning, State BJP chief likens police to TMC cadre

The new BJP chief claimed that the voice of people was being muzzled in an undemocratic manner, and alleged that the TMC does not want people to exercise their franchise.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: September 23, 2021 5:26:00 am
Mamata Banerjee , Mamata Banerjee news, PM Cares fund, PM cares fund RTI, PM Modi news, Narendra Modi news, Narendra Modi latest news, indian expressWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (File)

The BJP on Wednesday alleged that the police stopped them from campaigning for the Bhabanipur bypoll near Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence in Kalighat.

Newly appointed state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar who was set to campaign for the party’s candidate Priyanka Tibrewal told reporters that they were stopped at Harish Chatterjee Street, where Banerjee’s residence is located. Banerjee is the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) candidate.

“I don’t have any security personnel with me. I could have gone alone to campaign there. But the police did not allow me or our workers. They [police] have turned into party cadre for the TMC,” said Majumdar.

The new BJP chief claimed that the voice of people was being muzzled in an undemocratic manner, and alleged that the TMC does not want people to exercise their franchise. “I will ask everyone to vote [in the coming assembly by-poll] without fear, in a free manner. Vote for whoever you like and don’t feel intimidated by any party,” he added.

Reacting to the incident at Bhabanipur, Tibrewal said, “Mamata Banerjee has got scared and that’s why preventing us from campaigning. We have taken permission to campaign here then why would we be not allowed to meet our voters? This is evident from their attitude that the BJP will perform better in the by-poll.”

BJP MP Jyotirmay Singh Mahato and Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Akash Magharia were involved in a verbal spat at the spot.

“They did not have vaccination certificates and they were trying to breach the high-security zone, which is why they were diverted from that road. In a door-to-door campaign, no more than five persons are allowed. But there were campaigning in large numbers. Besides, they did not have permission to campaign on this road,” Magharia told reporters.

Mahato, however, claimed that they were in compliance with the number of people specified by the Election Commission for the door-to-door campaign.

“Professionalism of West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police has been destroyed under the TMC government. We were abiding by EC prescribed norms and guidelines but the police did not listen to us,” said Mahato.

Reacting to the development, TMC MP Saugata Roy said, “They know about their imminent defeat in Bhabanipur and is on the lookout to find excuses. The police did allow them to campaign but not in a high-security area. Now after their defeat, they will say that they could not campaign in Bhabanipur and that’s why they lost the by-poll.”

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