April 10, 2021 4:54:04 am
Unperturbed by another Election Commission (EC) notice for her repeated jibes against a section of central forces questioning their political neutrality, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said she could not care less about the poll panel’s “showcause letters”.
In its second notice to her, the EC said Banerjee’s remarks were “completely false, provocative and intemperate statements” against central forces deployed for the Assembly elections.
Addressing a rally at Memari in Purba Bardhaman district, the TMC chief reiterated that central forces were working on Union 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 that 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’ (rioteer) 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 tiger. His eyes are red. You will be afraid after seeing his eyes,” she alleged.
On rising prices of gas cylinders, the chief minister said, “We are not rioters. We do development work and come to you for vote. They are giving one gas cylinder in Rs 900 while we are giving rice free. Now, we are saying that you have to give gas cylinders free too.”
She alleged that the EC remained silent when Modi was campaigning on poll days in violation of the model code of conduct.
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.”
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. I am telling you. It is the right of women. And if anyone of our mothers and sisters is denied entry in the voting compartment, all of you come out and revolt,” the letter quoted Banerjee from one of her purported speeches.
The EC also attached a transcript of another speech at Cooch Behar on April 7 wherein she made the “highly objectionable remarks against the Central Reserve Police Forces”.
“They will bring goons from Assam to create panic. I would ask the administration to strengthen naka checking and to seal the borders of Assam. I would ask the Election Commission to seal the Assam border. Bhutan is a peaceful country and our friendly neighbour. Still, the border must be sealed. Remember that there are several other areas surrounding Cooch Behar which belong to Bangladesh. Those borders must be sealed too so that no outsider can create ruckus here. And if the CAPF creates disturbances, I tell you ladies, a group of you go and restrain (gherao) them while another group will go to cast their votes. Don’t waste your vote. If you engage yourself only in restraining them they will be happy that you did not cast your vote. This is their plan. It is the plan of BJP,” the letter quoted her from her purported speech.
The EC also questioned the TMC for accusing the BSF of intimidating villagers and asked it to back their claim with evidence. It has described the Border Security Force as one of the finest forces in the country.
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