Updated: March 30, 2021 1:49:32 am
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday urged the Election Commission to not deploy forces from the states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), especially in East Midnapore district, where the second phase of voting will take place on April 1.
A TMC delegation comprising party leaders Derek O’Brien and Sashi Panja met the Chief Electoral Officer and urged the poll panel to “refrain from deploying armed forces from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and any other BJP/NDA-ruled states during the second phase of elections in East Midnapore and also for other phases to ensure that there is no partisan act in this election by the armed forces.”
“The delegation also requested the official to immediately round up any and all anti-social elements in East Midnapore and take them in preventive custody to ensure free and fair elections,” TMC leader Sashi Panja said.
The TMC also lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, alleging that Nandigram BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari is harbouring criminals and putting them up in different hotels and guest houses of West Bengal. Derek O’Brien claimed that in spite of the local police being apprised of this, no action had been taken.
TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is locked in a fierce contest with her protege-turned- adversary Adhikari in Nandigram in East Midnapore district.
Meanwhile, the BJP urged the Election Commission to investigate the death of party worker Akhil Biswas in Bidyanandapur area of Chakulia in North Dinajpur.
The BJP claimed that Biswas, who had gone missing on March 26, was found hanging two days later.
The BJP also alleged that TMC workers heckled their candidate in Ballygunje and one BJP worker was molested.
The party also alleged that one newspaper published exit poll after the first phase of the polling and called for non-publication of “exit polls”.
This comes after Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a press conference in Delhi on Sunday claimed that BJP will win 26 of the 30 Assembly seats where voting took place on Saturday.
“I believe that the BJP is winning 26 of 30 seats (that voted in the first phase on Saturday) with an overwhelming majority. Not only are our seats going to increase, the victory margin will also increase in a big way.”
“This will help us to reach our target of over 200 seats (out of 294). If the election progresses like this, the BJP will win over 200 seats and form government in Bengal,” Shah said.
Reacting to Shah’s claim, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in Nandigram, “They will get rosogolla (zero).” TMC MP Derek O’Brien described Shah as a “bluffmaster”.
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