Mamata Banerjee attacks BJP and EC again, asks why only central forces deployed in Bengal | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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Mamata Banerjee attacks BJP and EC again, asks why only central forces deployed in Bengal

Apr 19, 2024 09:54 PM IST

Mamata Banerjee said TMC has approached EC against only central forces being deployed in Bengal. “This is like a groom also serving as the priest at his marriage”

KOLKATA: Only central paramilitary forces were deployed during the first phase of polling at three Lok Sabha seats in north Bengal on Friday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged at two election rallies in Murshidabad district while voting in north Bengal was on.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee address an election rally in Jangipur at Murshidabad on Friday (HT PHoto)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee address an election rally in Jangipur at Murshidabad on Friday (HT PHoto)

Addressing voters at the Murshidabad constituency, Banerjee said: “Listen to me Prime Minister and (Union) home minister. Right now, you are a caretaker government. How can you keep state police out and get the polls manned by only central forces? We have moved the Election Commission of India. This is like a groom also serving as the priest at his marriage.”

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Although Banerjee referred to the polling at Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar, she focused specifically on the last constituency where outgoing MP and Union minister of state for home Nisith Pramanik is contesting again.

Of the eight Lok Sabha seats in the north Bengal region, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested seven in 2019. These included the three seats where polls were held on Friday.

A visibly agitated chief minister attacked the BJP and again called the ECI “BJP commission”.

“How can the junior home minister decide where and how the central forces will be deployed? There are no police personnel anywhere. May I ask the BJP commission whether or not the decision to deploy police lies with the state government. How can the acting junior home minister order that only central forces should be deployed? Is it not unethical? We are shocked. We have written to the EC,” Banerjee said at her next rally in Jangipur.

Banerjee also targeted the BJP and PM Narendra Modi on various issues ranging from unemployment to operationalisation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that the TMC has opposed.

“We will not spare BJP. They have betrayed the country’s youth, the farmers, the poor, the women, members of the scheduled caste and tribal communities, the minorities, Hindus, everybody. What should a nation’s leader be like? He cannot be like Modi. A leader should be like Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Bose, B R Ambedkar or Abul Kalam Azad,” Banerjee said.

Since Murshidabad district accounts for a large number of migrant labourers, Banerjee addressed them as well.

“We have compiled a database on migrant labourers from all districts. We can reach out to them quickly whenever there is an emergency,” Banerjee said, indirectly referring to the difficulties faced by these people and the administration during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Refuting Banerjee’s allegation regarding the deployment of central forces, Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said: “EC follows the rule book. Banerjee is agitated because TMC could not unleash largescale violence, something Bengal has got used to.”

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