Mamata gets EC notice for asking women to ‘gherao’ central forces

Banerjee, 66, has been asked to explain her comment by 11 am on Saturday.

Mamata Banerjee
The poll body has also accused Banerjee of inciting the women voters to attack the security personnel | File Photo: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been served a second notice by Election Commission (EC) amid the ongoing assembly election, this time for calling on the people to “gherao” the central security forces deputed on election duty in the state.

Banerjee, 66, has been asked to explain her comment by 11 am on Saturday. The notice said she prima facie violated various sections of the Indian Penal Code with her remarks against the central security forces. The poll body has also accused Banerjee of inciting the women voters to attack the security personnel.

The EC said prima facie, completely false, provocative and intemperate statements by the chief minister attempted to berate and vilify central paramilitary forces during the electoral process. The fourth phase of election in the state is due tomorrow.

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The poll body cited Banerjee’s speeches in which she had accused the central forces of intimidating the voters and urged women to “attack them” if they were beaten up by the central security personnel. Besides, the notice also pointed out her “highly objectionable remarks” against the CRPF in Cooch Behar, in which she had suggested that a group of women can “gherao” the security personnel while another group can go vote.

A day earlier, the Commission had served another notice for her speech in which she had allegedly openly demanded votes on communal grounds during a rally in Hooghly on April 3. She had reacted to the notice saying she will always stand against  division of voters along religious lines.

Banerjee had also accused the poll body of not acting on complaints against the BJP by her party, following which the Commission had issued a notice against saffron party leader and the chief minister’s opponent Suvendu Adhikari, both contesting from Nandigram.

Related news | EC role under scanner as violence mars each phase of Bengal poll

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