The BJP Friday urged the Election Commission to take legal action against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her allegation that Union Home Minister Amit Shah may be influencing the poll watchdog and accused her of running a “smear campaign” against him.
A BJP delegation made a representation to the EC in which it submitted a part of her speech at a rally in Bankura in March 16 in which she had lashed out at Mr Shah saying, “Who is running the election commission, Amit Shah, are you running the election commission?”
She had alleged that he had been hatching conspiracies sitting in Kolkata, the BJP noted.
“The above-mentioned instances are false, fraudulent, derogatory allegations and are made without any basis in law or in fact. A smear campaign is being run to tarnish the image & reputation of Shri Amit Shah ji and other senior leaders of BJP, with the intent to spread misinformation and thereby influence the voters in a wrongful manner,” it said while sharing more details of her speech.
In absence of any fear of punitive or corrective action by the EC, the political discourse and the language used by Ms Banerjee has not only vitiated the electoral atmosphere but has also encouraged Trinamool Congress workers in further lowering the levels of propriety by resorting to both verbal and physical violence, the BJP alleged.
“That we request the Election Commission to intervene urgently by taking appropriate legal action against Ms. Mamata Banerjee for her continued fraudulent, baseless and abusive practice and to pass a prohibitory order, otherwise it might spoil the electoral environment, where abusing and spreading false news will become inevitable and the norm.
“That you are requested to kindly immediately censure Ms Mamata Banerjee, from further speeches. Further, take appropriate legal action her for her present and past conduct in gross contempt of & in blatant violation of mode! code of conduct and electoral laws as elucidated above,” the BJP representation said.
The BJP delegation, which included Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Debasree Chaudhuri besides senior party leaders Bhupender Yadav and Anil Baluni, also demanded deployment of central forces along with presiding and polling officers inside polling booths in the upcoming state assembly elections.
They should also be assigned the responsibility of voters’ verifications and be directed to conduct patrolling on the day of polling for control of any large-scale political violence on polling days, the BJP said.
“This would not only impede bogus voting, control political violence and killing of political workers but also reaffirm the electorates” faith in the Indian electoral system,” it said.
The BJP and the TMC are engaged in a bitter political campaign ahead of the eight-phase assembly polls beginning from March 27, with both parties petitioning the EC frequently against each other.
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