TMC supporters attack EC officials in West Bengal
Already at odds with the poll body, Mamata's partymen allegedly assault an EC team, triggering a fresh row a week before the state goes to polls.india Updated: Apr 10, 2014 21:24 IST
Trinamool Congress workers allegedly beat up Election Commission (EC) officials while they were trying to record a video clip of a motorbike rally of the party on Thursday, stirring up a fresh row a week before the state goes to polls.
Bike rallies comprising more than 10 vehicles are prohibited under the EC's guidelines.
The incident took place at Manickchowk in Malda district of north Bengal.
Muazzem Hussain, the Trinamool candidate of South Malda constituency, was allegedly present when the EC officials were assaulted and their video camera was damaged.
Two EC officials were hospitalised after the attack. The party, however, denied any involvement in the incident.
The incident came against the backdrop of Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee targeting the EC in a series of campaigns after eight officials, including superintendents of police and district magistrates, were transferred by the poll panel.
They were accused of acting in favour of Bengal's ruling party.
Banerjee on Wednesday had spoken of "revenge" against what she called an insult to Bengal. She had also termed the poll body an agent of all her political rivals — the Congress, the BJP and the CPI(M).
"None of our party workers assaulted EC officials. There was some commotion. We had only ten motorbikes (in the rally)," said state social welfare minister Sabitri Mitra.
But, opposition leaders lambasted the Trinamool over the issue.
"This is shocking. Mamata Banerjee is instigating violence. If this continues we will have to appeal to EC to conduct the polls in a different manner which is unprecedented in Bengal," said Adhir Chowdhury, president of the state Congress.
A similar incident had recently taken place in Habra of North 24-Parganas district, where a Trinamool MLA allegedly threatened to kill a block development officer after the he removed the party's posters from government establishments.
The five-phase elections for the 42 seats in Bengal start on April 17. The last day of polling is May 12.