Bengal: Mamata's dharna today in protest against EC ban on her poll campaign
Kolkata/IBNS: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on Tuesday sit on a dharna in downtown Kolkata in protest against the Election Commission (EC)'s ban on her campaign for 24 hours.
The EC has banned her campaign for a day over her alleged communal remark where she urged Muslim voters to unitedly vote for her Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the ongoing assembly polls and also for directing women to 'gherao' (restrain) the central armed paramilitary forces (CAPF) during the elections.
According to an order issued by the EC, Mamata has been barred from campaigning from 8 pm on Monday to 8 pm on Tuesday.
In protest against the ban, Mamata will sit on dharna near Gandhi statue in downtown Kolkata from 12 pm on Tuesday.
She tweeted, "To protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission of India, I will sit on dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Murti, Kolkata from 12 noon."
To protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission of India, I will sit on dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Murti, Kolkata from 12 noon.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 12, 2021
"This is the black day of democracy. They (BJP) can't defeat us so banning," said TMC MP Derek O'Brien, alleging the EC was working in tandem with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The same was resonated in Mamata's remark after all politicians including the Chief Minister were barred from entering Cooch Behar following the violence which led to five deaths on the poll day on Apr 10.
She had tweeted, "EC should rename MCC as Modi Code of Conduct! BJP can use all its might but NOTHING in this world can stop me from being with my people & sharing their pain. They can restrict me from visiting my brothers & sisters in Cooch Behar for 3 days but I WILL be there on the 4th day!"
EC should rename MCC as Modi Code of Conduct!— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 11, 2021
BJP can use all its might but NOTHING in this world can stop me from being with my people & sharing their pain.
They can restrict me from visiting my brothers & sisters in Cooch Behar for 3 days but I WILL be there on the 4th day!
With the campaigning for all political parties for the fifth phase of elections to be stopped from 10 pm on Tuesday, Mamata, in a bid to utilise the two hours after the ban lifts, will address public meetings in Barasat at 8:15 pm and Bidhannangar at 9 pm.
The banning of campaigns of high-profile politicians during the polls is not new in the Indian politics.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his predecessor Mayawati were banned by the EC from campaigning on the communal grounds.
While Adityanath, a cleric, was banned for three days, Mayawati, a Dalit leader, was barred from campaigning for two days.
However, TMC leaders as well as several opposition politicians have accused the EC of being biased as the commission has not pulled up the BJP leaders who have openly given calls for alleged violence.
Among a few saffron leaders, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh had said people, who would obstruct the poll process, would be shot to death by the central forces in the similar manner five villagers were killed at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar on Apr 10.