Even as the West Bengal Election Commission is verifying remarks made against its Commissioner, Mira Pande, by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a State Minister, yet another leader of the Trinamool Congress made a comment on Tuesday, describing her as “Comrade Pande” out to “scuttle” the upcoming rolls.
A day after Ms. Banerjee, who is also chairperson of the Trinamool Congress, had said that she would have Ms. Pande removed if she had her way, Subhendu Adhikari, at an election rally in Dantan in Purba Medinipur district, likened the State Election Commissioner to “an ant that grows wings before its death.”
Senior party MLA and the State’s Transport Minister, Madan Mitra, had said on Sunday that the election panel “will hide behind a veil” after the elections.
“Nobody should use unparliamentary language against a Constitutional body. We are a Constitutional body and we cannot react like a political party,” said Tapas Ray, Secretary, State Election Commission, when journalists sought for his reaction to the remarks.
On the subject, Biman Bose, chairperson of the Left Front Committee, referring to Ms. Banerjee’s remark about removing Ms. Pande if her party had a two-third majority in the State Assembly, said that the Chief Minister “is talking as if there is no such thing as democracy and the Constitution.”
“It is only the Lok Sabha that can initiate an impeachment motion against a State Election Commissioner with a two-third majority. The Chief Minister thinks that the people do not understand anything, they will believe whatever will be said to them,” added Mr. Bose, who is also State Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Ms. Banerjee had made the remark at election rallies in the State’s Paschim Medinipur district while canvassing support for the Trinamool Congress’ candidates in the upcoming rural polls.
The remarks of the Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leaders have, apart from Mr. Bose, drawn flak from the State leadership of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“The remarks are aimed at inciting Trinamool Congress supporters to defy the diktats of the election panel and disrupt voting on the day of the polls,” State Congress general secretary, Omprakash Mishra, said.
“What the Trinamool Congress doing is building pressure on the election panel so that it does not discharge its responsibilities in a proper manner,” said Rahul Sinha, president of the State unit of the BJP.