Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday (April 6) continued to rail against the “misuse” of Central forces in the third phase of polling for West Bengal’s 294-member Assembly. Her iteration of charges came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Cooch Behar attacked Banerjee saying she lost the election the day she did ‘khela’ in Nandigram. The Trinamool chief is contesting from Nandigram.
Mamata, on the other hand, said BJP workers were forcibly occupying polling booths and attacking TMC activists. “The blatant misuse of Central forces continues unabated. Despite us repeatedly raising this issue, the ECI continues to be a mute spectator while the men in uniform are being misused at several places to openly intimidate the TMC voters and influence many to vote in favour of one party,” Banerjee tweeted, sharing a video clip with her tweet.
Addressing a public meeting in Alipurduar district, the TMC supremo said her party nominee in Arambagh, Sujata Mondal, was chased and hit on the head near a polling booth by saffron party workers. “They have inflicted serious injury on our Scheduled Caste candidate Sujata, when she visited a booth. They also hit another candidate in Khanakul. In Canning East, security forces prevented our nominee Shaukat Mollah from entering a booth,” Banerjee said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Cooch Behar on Tuesday, slammed Banerjee for seeking en bloc voting by Muslims for the TMC and said had his party made a similar appeal to Hindus, it would have been criticized and censored.
Asserting that Banerjee has problems with people sporting a ‘tilak’ and wearing saffron, Modi said the TMC supremo’s appeal to the Muslims reflects that her “minority votes are slipping out of her hands.”
Claiming a BJP wave was blowing across West Bengal and his party would form the next government, Modi said Banerjee’s angry reactions indicate that she has lost the polls.
Polling is taking place in Rural Howrah, the Sunderban region, the Diamond Harbour and Baruipur belts in the South 24 Parganas, and parts of the Hooghly district.
A few days back the West Bengal Chief Minister had accused Union home minister and BJP leader Amit Shah of misusing the central forces, deployed to oversee the elections. In the second round of the polling on April 1, the Trinamool Congress chief sat inside a polling booth for nearly two hours upon receiving complaints of “booth rigging.”
She has repeatedly alleged that the Election Commission of India is a “mute spectator.” Reacting to her complaint regarding “disruption of voting” in the assembly constituency of Nandigram, which was among 30 constituencies where voting took place in the second round, the poll body said that her allegations were “factually incorrect.”
After April 6 voting, 91 out of the state’s 294 constituencies will have voted — 30 seats each went to the polls on March 27 and April 1. The eighth and final phase will be on April 29. Counting of ballots is scheduled for May 2.