The Election Commission has dismissed as “factually incorrect” and “devoid of substance” the allegations made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that polling was disrupted at a booth in Nandigram constituency during the Phase 2 election on April 1.
Her conduct at a polling booth in Nandigram, the assembly segment in Purba Medinipur district of Bengal where she contested against her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, is now under scanner, the poll body indicated on Sunday.
According to the EC, Banerjee’s conduct is being examined as to whether they merit action under sections 131 and 123(2) of Model Code of Conduct and Representation of the People Act. Section 131 in RP Act pertains to penalty for disorderly conduct in polling stations.
Banerjee, who enjoys Z-plus security, was forced into a two-hour confinement in a polling booth on April 1 due to a tense face-off between the supporters of her Trinamool Congress and BJP. Security forces later rescued her.
On that day, she had alleged the EC was being controlled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and accused it of not acting on the complaints lodged by her party. Sitting in her wheelchair, she had also dialled the state’s Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and trained guns at the EC for failing to maintain law and order during polling.
However, the poll body denied the allegation levelled against it and said on Sunday that the chief minister’s conduct at the booth had “immense potential to have adverse effect on the law and order across West Bengal and maybe in some other states,” according to reports.
The EC said Banerjee “sought to weave a media narrative to misguide the voters” when the polling process was on. “There could not have been a greater misdemeanour,” said the EC.