Referring to the Election Commission’s decision to cut short the campaign time for the nine West Bengal seats citing violence, BSP chief Mayawati Thursday alleged that free and fair elections are not being conducted in the country under the current Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
In a statement released by the BSP chief on Thursday morning, she said, “It is very sad that under pressure from the central government, the Election Commission has stopped campaigning in West Bengal. The ban will come into effect after 10 pm after the Prime Minister will address two rallies in the state. Our party criticises this in strong terms and also, if campaigning was to be suspended, it should have been done from this (Thursday) morning itself. This makes it clear that under the current CEC, these Lok Sabha polls have not been free and fair. This is having an effect on our democracy which is worth condemning and is shameful.”
Mayawati also supported West Bengal Chief Minister and said, “The despicable attempt to target the West Bengal government and to give a bad name to the state government and the chief minister. It is not fitting for a prime minister to do so.”
Later in the day, while addressing a joint rally in Varanasi in support of the SP candidate, Mayawati targeted the Prime Minister and said, “Jahaan bhi PM Narendra Modi ki chunavi jansabhayein hain aakhiri charan mein, mahilaon ka kaafi aadar samman yaad aa raha hai. Jagah jagah jaate hain to mahilaon ki aadar ki baat karte hain lekin inko main kehna chahungi ki aap doosre ki mahilaon ka, behen betiyon ka samman ki baat toh chhodo, aap apni patni ka toh aadar samman kar lo (Wherever the PM is holding rallies in the last phase, he is talking about women. He goes to places and talks about women’s honour, but I would say leave aside other women, first you respect your own wife).”
“A person who does not respect his wife, can you expect him to respect other women? The proof of this is not just his wife, but also West Bengal Chief Minister who he has troubled. Now, he has also started crying and claiming that the Opposition parties have started giving him new types of abuses. All this drama is being done to get sympathy from people… They have been calling our alliance names like snake, scorpio and mongoose. They also call it ‘mahamilavati’. This does not seem inappropriate to them,” she added.
Speaking about the PM’s constituency, she said, “As far as Prime Minister Narendra Modi developing Varanasi and cleaning the city is concerned… promises about issues of livelihood of artisans and other people here have also turned out to be like their other attractive promises. Also, the prime minister has gotten hundreds of small ancient temples here demolished and by doing so he has practised divisive politics of the RSS. This has led to families suffering over here. Not just this, another important national issue is the cleaning of river Ganga. The promise about cleaning the river has also not been fulfilled and the river is still not clean. He has also cheated Ganga maiya and people are saying that the Ganga will also punish the BJP and throw them out of government at the centre.”
Speaking at the rally, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “The way people of Varanasi have been cheated, others have not. This is the city which the prime minister had claimed he will convert to Kyoto… And I remember when I went to Kyoto, I had gone in a bullet train. And when I hear about Varanasi, I feel bad because you could have cheated anyone. You cheated Baba Bholeji’s city and the God.”
Extending support to Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh on Thursday evening tweeted, “The BJP has lost Uttar Pradesh and so now they have run to Bengal to make a last ditch effort. I appeal to the people of Bengal to support @MamataOfficial ji and ensure that the BJP has nowhere to go on the 23rd of May”.