Will Continue Speaking on CRPF Interference: Mamata Post EC Notice
Banerjee has been asked to provide an explanation by Saturday, on her contentious speeches on 28 March and 7 April.
Hour after the Election Commission (EC) issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, 9 April, asking her to explain her alleged comment asking people to “gherao” central security forces, Mamata Banerjee was undeterred, saying:
“I will continue speaking about interference by CPRF till it stops working for the BJP. Will salute the force, once it does. I do not care anything about your (ECI’s) show cause letters.”
Further, Banerjee, according to The Indian Express, question alleged inaction towards PM Narendra Modi and said, “Why are you (PM) having ‘Pariksha pe charcha’ in West Bengal where Assembly elections are being held? Is it not a violation of MCC?”
The EC Notice
Banerjee has been asked to reply by 11 am on Saturday, 10 April, on the contentious speech, which the EC said violated not just the model code of conduct but also the law.
The EC referred to her speeches made on 28 March and 7 April, in which Banerjee accused security forces of intimidating voters and allegedly asked women to hit back or surround them.
Bengal will vote in the fourth round of the Assembly elections on Saturday.
Speech Given on 28 March
Banerjee said in her March speech, “Who gave so much power to them that the central police are threatening the women without allowing them to cast their votes? I saw the same thing in 2019, I saw the same thing in 2016,” NDTV reported.
The Bengal Chief Minister said that she knew under whose instructions they (security forces) beat up voters and how they beat them up.
She said that it was their duty to protect people and if any mother and sister suffered a single strike, then the women should attack back with ladle, spuds, and knives.
“I am telling you. It is the right of women. And if any of our mothers and sisters are denied entry in the voting compartment, all of you come out and revolt," Banerjee told NDTV.
Speech Given on 3 April
The Election Commission referring to the speech Mamata Banerjee gave on 3 April, said that the “false, provocative and intemperate statements" attempted to “vilify” central forces and had caused "extreme demoralisation" in their ranks.
The Chief Minister was “inciting women voters to attack the personnel” of central forces, according to the poll body. The EC further said, “It is extremely unfortunate that political battles are thus sought to be fought in this manner instead of being fought in the campaign trail,” NDTV reported.
Previous Notice by the Poll Body
The Election Commission had issued a notice earlier as well over Banerjee’s statement on 3 April, appealing Muslim voters to unite against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and not let their vote be split.
Addressing a public rally in Domjur on 8 April, Mamata Banerjee slammed the EC and said, “Even if 10 show-cause notices are issued against me, my answer will remain the same. I am telling everyone to vote unitedly. There will be no division. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, must not give a single vote to them (BJP).”
Banerjee also trained her guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “How many complaints have been filed against (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi? He does Hindu-Muslim (politics) every day, how many complaints have been filed against him?” she asked.
She was also warned over a factually incorrect complaint over voting in Nandigram, where Banerjee faces her aide-turned-BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari, who was also given a notice by the EC for allegedly delivering a “hate speech” on 29 March.
The results of the Bengal Assembly elections will be declared on 2 May.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express.)
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