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ECI chalked out seven-phase polls to help BJP campaign using nation's resources: Mamata

3 weeks ago 15

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MALDA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged that the Election Commission of India chalked out seven-phase polls to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues to carry out extensive campaigning using the nation's resources.

Addressing a public meeting at Gajol in Malda district in support of Maldaha Uttar TMC candidate Prasun Banerjee, a former IPS officer, Mamata Banerjee, the party supremo, said polls have been scheduled from April 19 to June 1 so that Modi and his cabinet colleagues can travel on special planes across the country before every phase to "overwhelm the Opposition."

"On earlier occasions, elections used to be over by May but this year, it has been extended till June 1 to enable Modi to visit various places on military planes, while we are made to arrange for our own transport, including helicopters, which are also being booked by BJP leaders so that we get little space," she alleged.

"People are greatly inconvenienced by the scorching heat but Modi is unperturbed as they (BJP leaders) are campaigning in VVIP comfort with all facilities at hand," she added.

Banerjee alleged that though the Union Council of Ministers led by Narendra Modi is a caretaker cabinet after the announcement of elections and the EC is in charge of running the administrative machinery, the poll body is "toeing the line dictated by Modi and his party colleagues."

Attacking the BJP and Congress MPs from West Bengal, Banerjee alleged that despite being elected from the state in 2019, none of them took up the state's cause regarding the release of MGNREGA funds by the Centre or building houses for the poor under PM Awas Yojana.

"On the other hand, our (TMC) MPs were manhandled and arrested when they went to Delhi in November last year to demand the release of MGNREGA funds," she said.

"But what have the Congress and BJP MPs done for the poor? What has (Maldaha Uttar) BJP MP Khagen Murmu done for job card holders of the state?" she questioned.

Banerjee accused the CPI (M) and Congress of bolstering the BJP in the state and urged people not to cast votes for any non-TMC candidate.

"I had coined the name of INDIA bloc. But INDIA bloc does not exist in Bengal. For us, it exists outside the state," she said.

"Our MP Mahua Moitra was expelled from Parliament for unmasking the misdeeds of the Modi government and its proximity to big business houses. TMC MPs were targeted by this vindictive government," she added.

Stating that TMC MPs, including Mamata Bala Thakur and Derek O'Brien, were sent back from Guwahati airport when they went to Assam after the names of 19 lakh Bengalis were left out of NRC, Banerjee asserted that her party has always stood up to "atrocities committed by the BJP government."

"While churches, mosques and other places of worship were vandalised in Manipur during the ethnic violence and the BJP governments in the state and the Centre looked the other way, it was the TMC that stood by the affected people," he said.

"They destroy places of worship while we build those. The BJP boasts about Ram temple, but how many temples have they actually built over the past several years? It is the TMC that has built Durga, Kali and Jagannath temples," she claimed.

Banerjee accused the BJP of conspiring to engineer riots by spreading fake news and videos on social media.

She claimed that poll surveys telecast on TV channels were "BJP inspired", and asserted that the TMC will get a huge number of seats in the polls.

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