Tag: Banerjee

EC cuts poll campaign, Mamata calls it ‘unconstitutional, unethical gift’ to PM

Attacking the Election Commission of India for curtailing the campaigning for the last phase of polls in West Bengal, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said it is an “unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical gift” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah by the poll panel.

Banerjee, also the chief minister, said she had never seen this type of EC which is “biased and full of RSS people”.

“There is no such law and order problem in West Bengal that Article 324 can be clamped. It is unprecedented, unconstitutional, unfair, unethical and politically biased decision” against which the state will move the Supreme Court, she said.

“Mr EC has given a gift to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah (by invoking Article 324) in West Bengal for vandalising the statue of Vidyasagar,” she claimed at a press conference held at her Kalighat residence.

Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s massive road show Tuesday. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised during the violence. No violence had taken place during any other rally of Modi or Shah in the state earlier, she said and asked, “So where is the lawlessness?”

“The ECI is taking all the decisions at the behest of the BJP. I have never seen this type of ECI ever. I think all the RSS people have been included in the ECI. The ECI is biased,” she alleged. In the first such action in India’s electoral history, the EC on Wednesday invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election on May 19 in the wake of violence between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Kolkata on Tuesday. It ordered that campaigning in nine seats will end at 10 pm on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline.

“I have never criticised any constitutional body but today the people of Bengal are under attack, the federal structure is under attack. The great son of this soil is under attack. There is a limit to humiliation and insult,” she said. The chief minister said she and the people of the state will fight this battle boldly.

“They can kill me or send me to jail but I am not afraid. I feel that the people of Bengal will give a suitable reply to you (Modi and Shah) through the ballot,” she said.

Banerjee also alleged that Shah was solely responsible for carrying out Tuesday’s violence in the city which was a “pre-planned criminal conspiracy”. “You (EC) have not taken any action against the culprits. There was no problem in any of the rallies other than that held by Amit Shah yesterday. Why was he (Shah) not showcaused? The EC is doing whatever the BJP is asking it to do,” the TMC chief said.

Questioning the timing of the curtailment of campaign, Banerjee said, “Why hasn’t the EC stopped campaigning from this moment? Is it because Modi has two rallies scheduled for tomorrow?” She said the state government will move the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the EC. “Of course we will go to the Supreme Court after the elections. Now, the people are supreme and we will go to the people. They know everything,” she said.

The poll panel also ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director General, CID, Rajiv Kumar from their postings in West Bengal. Banerjee said, “What wrong has the home secretary done? He has only written a letter asking the EC to take help of the local police. Law and order is a state subject.” Describing Rajiv Kumar as a good officer, she said, “Why are you (BJP) scared of Rajeev Kumar? You removed him because he is capturing hawala operators.

Both the officers were removed not by the EC, but by Modi and Shah.” Banerjee has been claiming in her poll rallies that the BJP brought crores of rupees through hawala to be distributed among the people to buy votes. She said till the sixth phase of the polling in West Bengal, only the central forces had opened fired and not the state police.

Yogi Adityanath, Smriti Irani denied permission to hold rallies in West Bengal

The BJP on Monday claimed that permission for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Kolkata rally on May 15 has been denied. The BJP had sought permission for a rally at 3 pm on May 15 in South Kolkata. Union Minister Smriti Irani’s rally, too, has been denied permission.

BJP’s Sunil Deodhar said, “Yogi Adityanath had to hold rallies in all 5 Lok Sabha seats of South 24 Parganas district on May 15 but EC denied permission. Smriti Irani Ji was supposed to come tomorrow, we planned an event of her in Jadavpur. They denied permission at the last minute.”

Amit Shah too was scheduled to hold a rally in Jadavpur on Monday but the state administration denied permission for it last night and withdrew its nod to the Shah’s chopper landing in the constituency, BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters in New Delhi.

He urged the Election Commission to take cognizance of the development, saying the state government wanted to reduce the poll panel to a mute spectator.

“This is murder of democracy. The EC should take cognizance of the matter. If important leaders are not allowed to hold rallies then what is the meaning of elections,” Javadekar said.

He said the West Bengal administration has been denying permission to Shah’s poll programmes and events of other important BJP leaders.

Banerjee’s dictatorship is on full play in the state, he said, criticising the chief minister and Trinamool Congress president.

Have good friends in Oppn, Mamata sends personally selected kurtas: PM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he has many “good friends” in the Opposition and added that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sends personally-selected Kurtas and sweets to him.

“I have many good friends in the Opposition. We do eat food together once or twice a year. Long time back when I was not even the Chief Minister (of Gujarat), I had gone to Parliament for some work. There Ghulam Nabi Azad and I were having a friendly conversation. When we came out media people asked, how can you be friends with Azad as you belong to RSS. Ghulam Nabi gave a good answer. Hum dono saath khade se, bola dekho bhai bahar jo aap log sochte ho, aisa nahi h. Shayad ek family ke roop me hum log jitne jude hue hain sabhi dal ke log, wo shayad bahar kalpana nahi kar sakte (While we two were standing, he said that what you people think outside, it’s not like that. Maybe the way we the people of all the organisations are connected as a family it can’t be imagined outside),” Prime Minister Modi said in an interaction with actor Akshay Kumar.

“Mamata didi saal me aaj bhi mujhe ek-do kurte wo khud select karne jati hain (Even today Mamata didi herself selects one-two Kurtas for me in the year). She sends one-two Kurtas for me. Even Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sends sweets to me three-four times in a year especially from Dhaka. When Mamata didi got to know this, then she also sends sweets for me one or two times in a year,” he added.

Interestingly, Mamata has mostly been critical about Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government and has openly opposed their various initiatives including Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation.

On Sunday, Mamata had accused Prime Minister Modi of causing hardships to the people through demonetisation and said the electorate in West Bengal will pay back by not casting a “single vote” for him.

“In the (2014) elections, Narendra Modi’s BJP party had won. But, in the last five years, the government has betrayed Bengal. He (Modi) is coming here and saying lies. He comes flying to Bengal at the time of elections and is nowhere to be seen in other times,” she said at a public rally.

Before that on April 4, Mamata Banerjee had even termed Prime Minister Modi as “Hitler’s uncle”.

A day before that she called Modi as “expiry babu” and said, “His government has expired. You (Modi) said in Siliguri that we did not do anything for the poor. What have you done in the last five years? I have never seen a Prime Minister telling these many lies. Do not speak lies every day.”

On April 3 itself, Prime Minister Modi had called Banerjee as “speedbreaker Didi”.