News Desk: After reports of violence from polling stations in West Bengal’s Nandigram constituency, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday took a swipe at the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Election Commission of India (ECI) telling them to “control their goons.”
Banerjee hinted at the EC siding with the BJP. “I am showing you ‘V’ for victory sign. I’m sorry Election Commission and Amit Shah, please control your goons who are heckling woman journalists in rallies. I can’t reveal what I discussed with Observer and governor, it’s confidential. I haven’t seen such a bad election,” the chief minister was quoted as saying.
The allegations come on a day when voting is underway across 30 assembly constituencies from the districts of South 24 Parganas, Bankura, Paschim Medinipur, and Purba Medinipur in the second phase of assembly elections. Banerjee earlier called up governor Jagdeep Dhankar alleging that several voters in Nandigram were not being allowed to cast their ballot. Her phone conversation with the governor took place when she was at one of the voting booths to oversee the polling process. Soon after, Dhankar tweeted that the issue has been flagged to the concerned officials.
West Bengal chief minister also accused the EC of inaction and threatened to move the court against the poll body. “We have lodged 63 complaints since morning. But no action has been taken. We will move court over it. This is unacceptable,” she was quoted as saying, adding, “the EC is working on the instructions of Amit Shah.”
“Goons from other states creating ruckus here,” she said.
Banerjee’s opponent from Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari, who was once her close aide, meanwhile, claimed that she is insulting voters. “It has become her habit to insult people of Nandigram. She received injuries in an accident but levelled allegations. Governor’s is a constitutional post, she can speak to him, no problem. EC conducts polls, not Governor or President,” he said.
The battle for Nandigram is among the most crucial ones as Banerjee is contesting from this seat for the first time and seeking a third term as the West Bengal chief minister, while BJP’s Adhikari has vowed to quit politics if he fails to defeat the CM by 50,000 votes.
The assembly polls in the eastern state are taking place in eight phases ending April 29. The votes will be counted on May 2.