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West Bengal Polls: Trinamool accuses EC of acting on 'BJP instructions'

  • Published at 03:17 pm April 15th, 2021
TMC Rally in Kolkata
Supporters of Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief, Mamata Banerjee, attend an election campaign rally ahead of the fourth phase of the state election, in Kolkata on April 7, 2021 Reuters

The party claimed that the EC’s decision to bar Mamata Banarjee from campaigning was an ‘overreaction’

The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to the Indian Election Commission accusing the poll body of being biased in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party during the ongoing Assembly elections in West Bengal, PTI reported.

In the memorandum, the TMC mentioned a list of decisions taken by the Election Commission under three categories: “inaction of the EC,” “underaction of the EC” and “overaction by the EC.” The Trinamool alleged that the commission was “acting in a partisan manner, absolutely in favour of the BJP and on its instructions.”

In the first category, the party listed speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleging that they have made statements that are in “violation” of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of The People Act, 1951. The TMC also provided video links of the speeches to the EC.

“The ECI claims that it monitors speeches,” the memorandum stated. “However, it has not taken any action for such serious violations. For all the above [violations], Narendra Modi and Amit Shah should be banned for campaigning for the remaining phases.”

As for “underaction,” the TMC alleged that various middle and lower-level leaders of the BJP who have tried to influence voters on communal lines have not to be punished sufficiently. “Despite the ECI (Election Commission of India) being aware/made aware of the ground on which those speeches are violations of the MCC, the ECI refused to take sufficient steps and/or any steps, though in all such cases there should have been a ban on campaigning,” the memorandum said.

The party claimed that the Election Commission’s decision to ban West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours was an example of the poll body’s “overaction,” Banerjee was barred from campaigning on Monday for violating the Model Code of Conduct by allegedly asking voters to attack central security forces and for appealing to Muslims to vote against the BJP.

“Such an act is mala fide, suffers from non-application of mind, and is in violation of her (Banerjee) fundamental rights,” the TMC said. A delegation of TMC leaders Derek O’Brien, Kalyan Banerjee, Pratima Mondal, and Santanu Sen met Election Commission officials to present the memorandum on Wednesday evening.