EC decision to curtail campaigning in West Bengal taken at BJP’s direction, says Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday termed the Election Commission’s decision to curtail campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in the state and remove two senior officers as one taken on the direction of the BJP, its President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

She also wondered whether the directives were due to the “threat” issued to the poll panel by Shah during a media meet in Delhi on Wednesday morning. Addressing a hurriedly-convened media meet here, the Chief Minister said: “Some emergency situation has arisen due to some directions of the Election Commission. I don’t consider these as EC’s decision. These have been taken as per the direction of the BJP, Modi and Amit Shah.”

“In the morning, Shah held a press conference in Delhi, where he threatened the Election Commission. Is this a fallout of that?” she asked.  Banerjee alleged that Bengal was being targeted as Modi knew that she was challenging him. “I am challenging him, talking against him, we are countering him on every point. Modi is afraid of Bengal, afraid of me.” She said she had remained mum despite so many incidents that occurred during the election process.

“With due respect I tell the Election Commission that so many incidents have happened… I did not utter a single word.” Banerjee also accused Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain of making all arrangements for Shah’s road show. “He had given a letter. It is with Kolkata police. I also have a copy.”

Taking umbrage at the EC relieving her “favourite” police officer, Additional Director General, CID, Rajeev Kumar from the post and asking him to report to the Union Home Ministry in Delhi, she said: “Why are they so cut up with Rajeev Kumr? Is it because he has been intercepting hawala money?” “How can the EC send somebody to central deputation? This is the state’s prerogative. IPS and IAS officers are under the state government. How can they interfere like this? The EC is doing whatever the BJP is telling it to do. Never in my life have I seen such an Election Commission.”


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