‘Attack' on Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram 'not a conspiracy’, says Election Commission
The alleged attack on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee earlier this week in Nandigram was not a conspiracy, the Election Commission of India said on Sunday after the state administration and two poll observers submitted their reports on the incident.
The two poll observers said, according to news agency PTI, in their report that the incident in Bengal's Nandigram was not a planned attack but an accident, which took place suddenly.
The state government submitted a second report to the poll body on Saturday after it said it was dissatisfied with the initial report. “The ECI had sought some supplementary information. We have sent a supplementary report on Saturday,” Alapan Bandopadhyay, chief secretary of West Bengal, said.
The first report sent to the EC by the state government on Friday didn’t explicitly state the events of the last few seconds when Banerjee was injured, HT reported earlier. The report suggested that the chief minister was standing on the footboard of the car and something happened because of which the door closed and she was injured. The initial report and a few video clips, however, suggested that a few people managed to get close to Banerjee, pointing to security lapses in the area.
Following the report, the police said that there were frequent changes in the chief minister’s plans due to which last-minute security arrangements were made. A poll panel official said, “Action will be taken if it is found that there were lapses in the CM's security.”
Both the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), as well as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had approached the poll body to raise their concerns over the Nandigram incident. "The events/actions leading up to the attempt on her life, leave no doubt that the attack was premeditated and part of a deep-rooted conspiracy," TMC wrote in a letter to the EC while the BJP demanded an impartial probe into the attack.
The BJP had accused the chief minister of turning a “simple accident” into a "pre-planned conspiracy," according to PTI. The chief of Congress West Bengal unit Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also alleged that Banerjee was resorting to 'nautanki' (theatrics). No arrests have been made in connection with the case.
Banerjee was discharged from the hospital on Friday after being treated for injuries on her leg, waist, and neck, following the attack. According to the chief minister, four to five people had attacked her in Nandigram hours after she filed her nomination from the constituency on Wednesday.