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Mamata Banerjee slams EC, sees BJP hand in ‘conspiracy’

THE ASIAN AGE. | RAJIB CHOWDHURI
Published : May 16, 2019, 3:21 am IST
Updated : May 16, 2019, 5:19 am IST

The same happened to her party’s profile photos too on both social networking platforms.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
 West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Furious over the Election Commission’s order to cut shot the campaign period for the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal and action against two key bureuacrats, Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee described the move as “politically biased”.

Wondering why the campaign ban was not made effective from Wednesday night itself, she alleged the EC had deliberately set the Thursday 10 pm deadline so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could complete his two rallies in the state during the day.

In a threatening mood, the West Bengal CM argued: “Does it mean that no one can else campaign after Mr Modi’s rallies? If any malpractice is found in EVMs during the last phase of polling on May 19, we will move the Supreme Court against the EC. Deputy election commissioner Sudeep Jain is intimidating the district magistrates.”

She asked: “Why was no action taken against BJP president Amit Shah, who triggered the violence with goons at Vidyasagar College and vandalism of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s bust there on Tuesday? I did not see such massive violence even in the riots after the Babri Masjid demolition.”

Hitting out at the PM, Ms Banerjee reasoned: “We lodged a complaint with videos as evidence. But we are now at the receiving end. I do not think the decision was taken by the EC. It is a BJP decision taken by Mr Modi and Mr Shah. Mr Modi had campaigned here today. Has he regretted the violence? No. Those who vandalise do not regret.”

Earlier, she warned the BJP the saffron party would not succeed in grabbing the state by “killing” greats like Vidyasagar and Rabindranath Tagore, before she led a protest rally in the city in the afternoon.

Desperate to cash in on the popular Bengali sentiment over Vidyasagar a few days before the last round of voting, Ms Banerjee also replaced her profile pictures with the icon’s photo on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. The same happened to her party’s profile photos too on both social networking platforms.

At a poll meeting at Agarpara in North 24 Parganas, the Trinamul chief claimed: “It is a pre-planned conspiracy. But that gentleman is so shameless that he claimed at a meeting of not vandalising the bust. Should we show who did it? I have the videos which cannot be shown at length.”

Ms Banerjee alleged: “Goons were brought here from outside. Would not the people know Vidyasagar if they were from Bengal? Would not someone know Rabindranth Tagore or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose if he is from Bengal? Hired goons forcibly entered Vidyasagar College and Calcutta University.”

She added: “They beat the students and went on the rampage, when Vidyasagar’s bust was vandalised. I have the documentation which has revealed that the bust was thrown away. Now they are making tall talk against Trinamul. Where was Trinamul there? No one from our party was present.”

West Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi said: “As chancellor of Calcutta University, I am greatly pained at the vandalising of the Vidyasagar statue. The real culprit behind breaking the statue must be traced and suitably punished. Efforts should also be made by Calcutta University at the earliest to instal a new statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same place.”

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Tags: mamata banerjee, election commission