Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused the State Election Commission of taking decisions unilaterally and the media of slandering her government.

Ms. Banerjee, who was addressing a poll rally at Joynagar in South 24 Parganas district, said the party would answer the poll panel through ballots. She also justified the boycott of Saturday’s all-party meeting convened by the SEC. “Why should the party go? Have they heeded any of our pleas?”

She said the poll dates inconvenienced everyone; Muslims may be affected as Ramadan is round the corner, people are likely to suffer due to the monsoons, and students are bound to be hit as exams and admissions were scheduled at that time.

“Even the counting date was fixed unilaterally on June 29. We will suffer as the State budget will have to be passed by July 31. There is barely breathing time now to get everything ready,” she said.

Ms. Banerjee accused the media of launching slander campaigns against her government and named three media houses. “They have no other work,” she said.

Meanwhile, her justification for boycotting the all-party meeting condemned by the Opposition, with some parties wondering whether her action behoved the leader of a ruling party.