Updated: April 8, 2021 5:41:25 am
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) of harassing voters at the behest of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the BJP, adding that she respects the paramilitary force but not the “BJP-CRPF”.
“People should be allowed to cast their votes. The CRPF should not obstruct them from entering polling booths. I respect those who are real jawans but I do not respect those doing nuisance, attacking women and harassing people at the behest of the BJP. They are obstructing electors from casting their votes. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has instructed them to do so,” Banerjee alleged in Cooch Behar district’s Sitalkuchi area.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief alleged some CRPF personnel had molested girls and urged the Election Commission (EC) to look into the mater. She also claimed that more than 10 people had been killed during the polls.
“More than 10 people have been murdered. This never happened during my time. We all want peaceful polling so that people can cast their vote. We want peaceful, free and fair elections. The Election Commission is running the administration. Please see to it that nobody is killed during polling. I request you to monitor the CRPF personnel who are on duty now in the state. They should not be allowed to harass women. There are cases of girls being molested by central force members. Why are they molesting girls? Complaints have been lodged and I will request you [EC] to please take care of that also,” Banerjee said.
The TMC chief accused Amit Shah of failing to protect the security personnel recently killed in a Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh, and those who died in a terrorist attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, in 2019. “You [Shah] failed to protect the lives of your policemen in Pulwama and in Sukma. What has the government done for those killed in Sukma? On one side, they are killing people and on another side, you are asking voters to cast vote for your party…You should be ashamed of doing so,” Banerjee said.
The chief minister said the party’s candidates Sujata Mondal (Arambagh), Nirmal Maji (Uluberia Uttar) and Munsi Nazbul Karim (Khanakul) were among those attacked and roughed up by BJP workers during the third phase of polling on Tuesday. Mondal’s security officer was also injured in the attack. The TMC has also been accused of being involved in the attacks on BJP candidates Papiya Adhikari (Uluberia Dakshin) and Swapan Dasgupta (Tarakeswar).
“They unleashed so many atrocities in Arambagh. They beat up Sujata Mondal with bamboo sticks. They hit an officer on duty on his head. The Goghat candidate beat up people and killed our booth president,” said Banerjee.
Criticising the BJP for promising to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Banerjee said, “Where is the CAA? They spoke so much and there is no CAA. They speak a lot but do nothing. In the name of NRC [National Register of Citizens], 14 lakh Bengali-speaking people were left out in Assam.”
The TMC chief also mocked the saffron party for giving election tickets to some of its MPs. “Those who became MPs are contesting elections for MLAs. After this, they will contest councillor election, panchayat election and then club election also,” Banerjee said.
With PTI inputs
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