Opposition backs Mamata over her claims of EC-BJP nexus in shortening Bengal campaign
New Delhi/Kolkata, May 16 (IBNS): Several key opposition parties have come out in an open support for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee who on Wednesday accused the Election Commission of acting as per the directives of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the poll body shortened the campaign in West Bengal by almost a day.
Holding a press conference in the national capital, the Congress called the move as "dark spot on India's Democracy and institutions of oversight like the ECI". The country's oldest political outfit also accused the EC of giving a "parting gift" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to hold two rallies in West Bengal's Mathurapur and Dum Dum.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo, Mayawati, tweeted, "Since the time the election was announced, some or the other news is coming from Bengal. The BJP-RSS is responsible for such incidents."
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"PM Modi and his followers are targeting the Mamata government for a long time and also during the Lok Sabha polls. They are doing it to divert attention form their own inabilities," Mayawati said slamming the saffron party.
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Meanwhile alleging that the BJP is playing the same trick in her own state, the BSP chief said: "BJP and RSS are trying to do the same thing in Uttar Pradesh as well but we didn't let that happen. We won't allow such things to happen till the last phase of polls."
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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party chief, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, tweeted, "It is disturbing to see prompt action by the ECI on the complaint by @BJP4India and @AmitShah in West Bengal, while conveniently ignoring the complaints of @AITCofficial."
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief, Akhilesh Yadav, tweeted, "The EC's decision to call off campaigning in Bengal is against all norms of democratic fair play. I fully support @MamataOfficial ji in her fight to stop the undemocratic march of the two and a half men who have used and abused every institution of our country for their own gain."
The EC's decision to call off campaigning in Bengal is against all norms of democratic fair play. I fully support @MamataOfficial ji in her fight to stop the undemocratic march of the two and a half men who have used and abused every institution of our country for their own gain.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) May 15, 2019
Why did EC took such decision?
The Election Commission of India on Wednesday cut short the campaign in West Bengal by almost a day from 10 pm on Thursday for the Lok Sabha elections in the state for the seventh and final phase of the polls on May 19. The move followed unprecedented violence in a roadshow of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah a day ago.
It also relieved ADG CID Rajiv Kumar and principal home secretary of their duties.
The ECI invoked Article 324 of the Constitution for its step. Reports said that for the first time, the election body used Article 324 of the Constitution, which gives it the powers of "superintendence, direction and control of elections".
The poll panel's directive came a day after violence broke out between the saffron party and Trinamool Congress supporters in north Kolkata during a roadshow of BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday.
Mamata finds EC-BJP nexus
Holding a press conference within hours of the EC's announcement, Banerjee on Wednesday said the poll body is acting as per the order of BJP.
"In the morning Amit Shah threatened the poll body and the EC took the decision. It is pre-planned as Narendra Modi will hold two rallies on Thursday," the West Bengal Chief Minister told media.
Banerjee, who will cover up her scheduled Friday's programmes on Thursday itself, will hold rallies in Mathurapur and Diamond Harbour at 1 pm and 2 pm respectively. She will also hold two roadshows from Joka and Sukantu Setu later in the day.
Receiving support from the anti-BJP parties, she thanked the leaders on Twitter saying, "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."
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— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 16, 2019
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