TMC, BJP trade barbs over 8-phase elections
“If elections can be held in Bihar and Assam in three phases, then why are they being held in eight phases here? Who will be benefitted? The ECI should be more rational,” Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday questioned the rationale behind holding the West Bengal assembly elections in eight phases and scheduling polls in some districts on more than one day.
The CM also attacked the Election Commission, saying the EC scheduled the poll dates keeping in mind the BJP’s demands. “The district of South 24 Parganas is a TMC stronghold. Hence elections have been scheduled there on three days. Has this been done on the directions of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi? Is it that after wrapping up the elections in other states, they want to play a month-long game here?” she told the media.
“If elections can be held in Bihar and Assam in three phases, then why are they being held in eight phases here? Who will be benefitted? The ECI should be more rational,” she said.
Reacting to Banerjee’s statement, BJP’s former national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “She is agitated because eight-phase polling will ensure peaceful polling, not the bloodbath we always witness. If she is so confident about having mass support it should not make any difference is polls are held in 28 phases.”
Left Front chairman Biman Bose echoed the CM: “Why should it be part 1, part 2. I don’t know the reason behind it. I have known elections since 1958.”
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “We apprehended massive violence... We are happy that polls would be held in eight phases...”
“There has been a 31% increase in polling booths in WB, and the eight phases in WB have been mandated since the mobilization of resources manpower is necessary. In Bihar, the Commission had also done the same...,” an EC official said.