West Bengal Elections: Mamata Banerjee's allegations earns strong response from Election Commission
Ever since her alleged “attack”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken repeated swipes at the Election Commission (EC). At a rally in Bankura on Tuesday, Mamata alleged that Home Minister Amit Shah is running the election body.
“I am asking concerning the Election Commission. Who is running the EC? Amit Shah, are you running it? We want a free and fair election but who is Amit Shah? Who is he to guide the Commission,” Mamata alleged at the rally. She also alleged that Shah is interfering in the work of the Election Commission. “My security in-charge has also been removed. What do they want? Do they want to kill me?”
The EC was not impressed with Mamata’s allegations and shot a stern letter to the West Bengal Chief Minister stating that “repeated innuendos and averments” is an “attempt to belittle the institution”.
“Notwithstanding the above meetings in Kolkata and Delhi, if it is stated by the honourable CM that the commission should meet political parties, it is only an attempt to belittle the institution of commission with repeated innuendos and averments,” Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of West Bengal Sudeep Jain wrote to Mamata.
He also informed the election body would not like to keep on being accused of alleged proximity to any political party. “However, Jain if the CM persists in creating and attempting to perpetuate this myth for reasons best known to her, it is singularly unfortunate, and it is only for CM to adjudge as to why she is doing so,” the letter read.
The opposition has repeatedly accused the Election Commission of favouring the BJP. Parties such as Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and now Trinamool Congress (TMC) have made repeated allegations against the polling body on this matter. TMC has attacked the EC after the poll body refused to accept the West Bengal party’s claims that Mamata was “attacked” in Nandigram last week. The TMC also alleged that the EC is acting “as per orders” of the BJP leaders.
Following the meeting with the EC, TMC MP Derek O’Brien claimed that there is a nexus between the BJP and the EC. “On March 9, the EC changed the DGP. On March 10, a BJP MP posted on social media, ‘Aap samajh jayenge, 5 pm ke baad kya hone wala hai’ (You will understand, after 5 pm what will happen) and it happened to Mamata Didi at 6 pm. We condemn these incidents and want the truth to prevail,” said O’Brien.
Following the alleged “attack” on Mamata’s in Nandigram, the EC removed West Bengal security director Vivek Sahay, suspended Purba Midnapore SP Pravin Prakash and transferred district magistrate Vibhu Goel. These moves by the EC irked the TMC further and since then the party and the Chief Minister have repeatedly taken jibes at the polling body.