Updated: April 1, 2021 4:08:45 am
In a sharp attack on the functioning of the Election Commission (EC), Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is contesting from Nandigram, on Wednesday accused the poll panel of taking instructions from the BJP.
The Trinamool Congress chief’s attack on the EC comes on the eve of the second phase of polling in West Bengal. Nandigram, from where the CM is contesting, will vote on Thursday.
“The Election Commission is working under the instruction of BJP. The Election Commission is doing what BJP is instructing them. There is no naka checking, no patrolling… We are not demanding any favour from the Commission. We just want a free and fair election in Nandigram,” Banerjee told mediapersons, adding that she would stay in Nandigram on Wednesday night.
Sources in the TMC said that the Chief Minister has cancelled all campaign schedule on Thursday as she will stay in Nandigram during the voting.
“BJP workers have already started to attack our supporters. The attacks will increase when they will realise tomorrow that they are going to lose in Nandigram. So, to fight against BJP’s terror, the Chief Minister has decided to stay in Nandigram till Thursday night,” a senior TMC leader told The Indian Express.
The Chief Minister also alleged that “goons brought by the BJP from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar” were staying in Nandigram and “trying to terrorise people”.
While campaigning in Howrah and Hooghly districts, which will go to polls in the next phase, the TMC chief alleged that BJP leaders were distributing money running into crores of rupees to influence the electoral outcome and asked the Election Commission to take action.
“There are several BJP leaders sitting in hotels with huge amounts of money and distributing from there. They are conducting horse trading… Where is the Election Commission?” Banerjee said.
Campaigning in Singur for party candidate Becharam Manna, Banerjee hit out at Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who quit TMC to join BJP. “I was surprised when I came to know that, he (Rabindranath Bhattacharya) became (BJP) candidate from Singur. Before, selecting our candidate, I called Mastermashai (Rabindranath Bhattacharya) and told him that he should take rest and will make him chairman of our advisory committee. But, he did not heed to it… Becharam Manna is doing very well. He did a lot of development work in Singur. So, we selected him as our candidate from here and his wife from Haripal,” Banerjee said.
Earlier in the day at a rally in Goghat, Banerjee said that she has photographs and videos of those who attacked her car in Nandigram on Tuesday and would take up the issue after the elections. Banerjee said that she refrained from any action as elections are on and the model code of conduct is in place.
“How dare they attack my car! I kept mum only because the elections are on. Or else I would have seen how big they have grown… I have videos of the goons attacking my car. Let the elections be over in Bengal, then I will take action,” the Chief Minister said adding a Bengali proverb “ami dekhbo koto dhane koto chaal hoi (They will learn what’s what).”
A visibly agitated Banerjee said of her attackers “I will see which ‘gaddar’ (traitor) shelters you. Where will you go? To Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan or UP. I will drag you back here (West Bengal).”
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