TMC lodges complaint with EC over action by central agencies | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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TMC lodges complaint with EC over action by central agencies

Apr 01, 2024 05:15 PM IST

The TMC said that central agencies have been hounding opposition parties across the nation, compromising the level playing field required for the general elections

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) over the alleged harassment of opposition parties by the central agencies and said that such actions compromise the level playing field required for the general elections.

TMC Rajya Sabha MPs Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen, Saket Gokhale and Sagarika Ghose leave after meeting the Election Commission of India in Delhi on Monday. (PTI)
TMC Rajya Sabha MPs Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen, Saket Gokhale and Sagarika Ghose leave after meeting the Election Commission of India in Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

A delegation of party leaders, consisting of TMC Rajya Sabha MPs Derek O’Brien, Sagarika Ghose, Dola Sen and Saket Gokhale, met chief election commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar and other senior EC officials in Delhi, and in a letter submitted to the CEC, they highlighted the arrest of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, and also listed seven incidents where the central agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Cental Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Income Tax (IT) Department, had acted against TMC parliamentarians, legislators or workers.

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“It is with deep concern that we write to you today. Various departments/agencies, which come under the aegis of the Union Government, have been hounding leaders/members/workers from opposition parties across the nation. … The mandate of the people is being compromised and their electoral representatives are being crippled in the run-up to the General Elections. … These are not sporadic events. … the modus operandi being employed by departments/agencies are being done at the behest of the ruling dispensation at the Centre,” the TMC’s letter to the CEC said.

The TMC said that after Mahua Moitra was announced as a “deemed” candidate of the TMC, the CBI conducted “four consecutive raids” on her properties on March 23. This included two of her offices, one of which is her election campaigning office. “Hence, the CBI has knowingly raided Smt. Mahua Moitra’s official spaces to harass and disrupt her campaign efforts,” the letter said.

The TMC said that these raids did not lead to any recovery and were a “stunt” to create a “negative perception in the media and in the minds of the prospective voters” about Moitra. The party also said that she had been summoned by the ED for an investigation under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), for which she had already provided all the documents.

The party also highlighted the ED raid at the residence of Chandranath Sinha, minister in charge of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and textiles in the state government on March 22 in connection with the teacher recruitment scam. The TMC said that the investigation was instituted by the ED in June 22 and actions after 21 months were a deliberate attempt to “create suspicion and ill-will against AITC and its members”. They also mentioned the three-day raid by the IT department at the house of Jui Biswas, councillor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

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