Lucknow: Rallying behind Mamata Banerjee, BSP supremo Mayawati today charged that the West Bengal Chief Minister was being targeted as part of a conspiracy to divert attention from the failures of the Modi government.
It is now clear that under the present Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, the Lok Sabha polls are not being held in a totally free and fair manner, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister told reporters here.
The Election Commission curtailed campaigning in West Bengal under pressure from the Central government, she further charged.
The Election Commission Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end 10 pm Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata.
Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar had said that it was for the first time that such an action has been taken using the constitutional powers of the poll panel.
The EC’s action came after parts of Kolkata witnessed widespread violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s massive road show in the city. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also vandalised during the violence.
The order said it has been brought to the notice of the commission that there have been growing incidents of disruption and violence during the political campaigns and processions in West Bengal during the ongoing elections.
The EC invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election 19 May.
The constituencies where campaigning has been curtailed are — Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar.
DIDI THANKS OPPN LEADERS
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today thanked the leaders of opposition parties who supported her as she protested against the Election Commission’s decision to cut short the poll
campaign duration in the State.
‘Thanks and gratitude to @Mayawati, @yadavakhilesh, @INCIndia, @ncbn and others for expressing solidarity and support to us and the people of #Bengal. EC’s biased actions under the directions of the #BJP are a direct attack on democracy. People will give a befitting reply,’ she tweeted.