EC ordered end of campaigning in Bengal under pressure from PM Modi, Amit Shah: Mamata Banerjee
Flustered over Election Commission's order of campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 PM on Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the poll panel made the decision under pressure from the BJP.
Addressing the media after the EC's strict action in the state, Banerjee said the decision is not by the poll panel but by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
"Election Commission is running under the BJP. This is an unprecedented decision. Yesterday's violence was because of Amit Shah. Why has EC not issued a show-cause notice to him or sacked him?" she said.
Terming the decision as "politically biased and unethical", the West Bengal Chief Minister alleged that the Election Commission ordered ban on campaigning from 10 pm so as to give PM Modi time to finish his two rallies scheduled on Thursday.
"Narendra Modi you cannot take care of your wife, how can you take care of the country?" she said in a hard-hitting attack.
Criticising the poll panel's move and claiming that there was no law and order problem in the state, Mamata called the decision to invoke Article 324 as "unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical".
"Article 324 in Bengal is EC's gift to Modi, Amit Shah for vandalising idol of Vidyasagar," sha said, further alleging that the poll panel is "full of RSS people".
In first such action in India's electoral history, the Election Commission on Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 PM on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata.
The Election Commission (EC) also ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director General, CID, Rajiv Kumar from their postings in West Bengal.
The EC's action came a day after parts of Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Amit Shah's massive road show in Kolkata. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also vandalised during the violence.
Hitting out at the poll panel for taking action against Rajeev Kumar and Atri Bhattacharya Mamata Banerjee said, "IPS, IAS officers are under the state government but how can they interfere like this."
Holding Shah responsible for the violence and vandalisation of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue, Banerjee questioned the EC made the decision after Shah "threatening" the poll panel in a media briefing earlier in the day.
Reiterating her allegation that Shah brought "goons" from Bihar, UP and Rajasthan, Mamata compared the Tuesday incident with Babri Masjid demolition. "Goons were brought from outside, they created violence wearing saffron, violence similar to when Babri Masjid was demolished," she said.
"Amit Shah created violence through his meeting, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue was vandalized but Modi did not feel sorry for that today. People of Bengal have taken this seriously, action should be taken against Amit Shah," Mamata said.
"Amit Shah today did a press conference, threatened EC, is this the result of that? Bengal is not scared. Bengal was targeted because I am speaking against Modi," she added.
Banerjee said that the poll panel was creating "Emergency like situation" to conduct polls in the state and was "conspiring" against the Trinamool Congress.
Shah, in a press conference earlier today, had accused the Trinamool Congress for violence during his roadshow in Kolkata and accused the Election Commission of "double standards" for remaining a "mute spectator" to rigging and violation of the poll code in the state.
"I want to tell the Election Commission that it has become a mute spectator to attempts to rig polls in West Bengal. It should immediately intervene. History-sheeters...Are arrested during elections across the country. In Bengal, they are released after furnishing a bond. What is this double standard from the EC? Why is it silent," he asked.