Updated: April 10, 2021 3:01:46 am
The Election Commission (EC) has served a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly questioning the political neutrality of a section of the central forces in the state for poll duty. The TMC chief hit back at a rally Friday, saying she couldn’t care less about the poll panel’s action.
In its second notice to her, issued Thursday night, the EC said Banerjee had made “completely false, provocative and intemperate statements” against the central forces.
Addressing a rally at Memari in Purba Bardhaman district, Banerjee reiterated that central forces were working on Home Minister Amit Shah’s instruction. “Once they (CRPF) stop doing that (following Shah’s orders), I will salute them. I do not care anything about your (EC) showcause letters,” she told the gathering.
Suggesting Shah may incite riots in the state, Banerjee urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rein him in. “I have not seen such a ‘gunda’ (gangster), ‘dangabaaz’ (rioter) home minister in my entire life. Amit Shah is more dangerous than a tiger. People fear to talk to him. I will urge PM Narendra Modi to control Amit Shah first.He is inciting riots here. I never saw such a bad, rioter Home Minister. He is like a tiger. His eyes are red. You will be afraid after seeing his eyes,” she said.
She alleged that the EC remained silent when Modi was campaigning on poll days in violation of the model code.
She said this election was a bid to save Bengal’s pride and self-respect. “We will not allow Bengal to become another Gujarat. We have to fight against that.”
Coming down hard on the PM-CARES fund, she said, “They are calling the TMC an extortionist. If the TMC takes Rs 200, it is dubbed as an extortionist. And you (BPJ) takes crores in the name of the PM-CARES fund, you are honest. No body is a bigger extortionist than you.”
Meanwhile, in its notice to Banerjee, the EC accused her of “demoralising” central forces. “Mamata Banerjee, Chairperson of AITC, has been consistent in berating and demoralising the Central Para Military Forces, who have often played a significant role in assisting the state government concerned in restoration of law and order,” read the notice. The EC wants her reply to the notice by 11am on Saturday.
The panel quoted several speeches of Banerjee targeting Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) in its notice and feared that her remarks may create mistrust. “I know under whose instruction they beat up and how they beat up. It is your duty to save the family of the people. If any of our mothers and sisters suffers a single stroke with the stick, attack them with ladle, spuds and knife…,” the letter quoted Banerjee as saying.
On Wednesday, the poll body had issued Banerjee a notice over her alleged appeal for votes along communal lines saying it violated the model code and the Representation of People Act.
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