Ahead of elections, TMC says BSF being misused
Kolkata The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India alleging that the Border Security Force was threatening people living in areas in the state bordering Bangladesh, asking them to vote for a particular political party. While the party did not name the Bharatiya Janata Party, it implied that it was referring to the national party which has emerged its main rival in the state.
The BJP, meanwhile has alleged that at least 400,000- 500,000 Rohingyas, who illegally entered the country through the Indo-Bangla border, have been included in the voters’ list and urged the poll panel to order a special audit of the electoral roll.
Elections in the state are likely in the first half of the year.
“BSF personnel are going to border villages and threatening villagers to vote for a particular political party. Villagers are being told that the state administration won’t be able to help them and that they would be left at the mercy of BSF. We have taken up the matter with the ECI,” said Partha Chatterjee, TMC general secretary and state education minister, after meeting the Chief Election Commissioner.
BSF, however, has refuted the charges saying that the allegations were baseless and far from truth
“ BSF is a professional border guarding force. We have actively checked on illegal infiltration and smuggling and criminals involved in such activities have been brought to book. The statements made by Chatterjee, are without any basis and far from truth,” said a statement issued by the force.
Representatives of both parties met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and the two election commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar on Thursday. The full bench of the ECI is in West Bengal on a two-day visit to take stock of the election preparedness and law and order situation in the poll-bound state.
“Border areas are very sensitive. We have urged ECI to cross-check the voters’ list in some areas where there has been an alarming increase in number of electors,” said Dilip Ghosh, BJP president in West Bengal , claiming that at least 400,000- 500,000 lakh Rohingyas have been included in the list.
The BJP in its letter to ECI alleged that at least five border districts – Malda, Murshidabad, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, and South 24 Parganas – have registered high population growth in the last four years. Three of these – Malda Murshidabad and Uttar Dinajpur have a Muslim majority, according to the 2011 census. HT could not independently ascertain whether this is the case.
The BJP team has also demanded that central forces be deployed at least 15 days before the polls. Buoyed by its impressive gains in the 2019 Lok Sabha pols where the party won 18 of the 42 seats in the state, the BJP has set a target of winning more than 200 seats in the 294-seated legislative assembly.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Addressing the concluding session of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Surendran’s “Vijay Yatra” in the state capital, Shah posed five questions to the CM.
- Addressing a state conference for its cadres on the outskirts of Trichy, Stalin said a DMK government will give ₹1,000 every month to housewives and create a million jobs every month.
- The meeting came a week after Tewari and other letter writers, the group has been tagged the G23, addressed a meeting in Jammu in honour of retired MP Ghulam Nabi Azad.
- In Tamil Nadu, the Congress is in alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK).
- The observations from the Union health ministry come a day after the country reported the largest single-day increase in new Covid-19 infections in two months.
- Smriti Irani says, "I’m the only female politician who’s also recognised by her former vocation. I recognise the bias in that."
- An official said that both Houses could meet at 11 am from the second week following the vaccination of eligible MPs.
- A suicide note found at the spot said they took the decision because of acute financial distress, an official said.
- The changes have been opposed by some states who see it as another attempt by the Centre to take over mining auctions and impose central rules on a state domain.
- A re-invigorated biodiversity management policy is India’s survival strategy. At this point in our development trajectory, we don’t pay any heed to either biodiversity or landscape conservation.
- According to Forest Survey of India’s forest fire alert system, there were 2,317 fire points last year between February 26 and March 7, but the figure rose to 53,211 this time after data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) was taken into account.