A delegation of West Bengal Congress leaders met Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath in New Delhi on Wednesday and alleged violation of the model code by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the State, where a by-election to the Lok Sabha from Howrah constituency is scheduled for June 2.
“The Chief Minister held a press conference at the State Secretariat on Tuesday and announced major schemes. This amounts to gross violation of the model code of conduct when the poll notification has been issued for the Howrah parliamentary seat,” State Congress spokesperson Abdul Mannan told The Hindu over telephone from New Delhi.
The by-election was necessitated following the death of sitting Trinamool Congress MP Ambica Banerjee last month.
The delegation that included State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya and Union Minister for State for Urban Development Deepa Dasmunsi referred to advertisements released by the State government to mark two years of the Trinamool Congress government after the notification was issued.
Mr. Bhattacharya said the delegation expressed fears that the Central security forces would not be deployed in all the booths.
“We have raised other issues relating to the deployment of security forces also but neither the district administration nor the State’s Chief Electoral Officer has paid us any heed,” Mr. Mannan said.
The Howrah by-election will be the first contest for a Lok Sabha seat where nominees of the Trinamool Congress, the Congress and the Left Front find themselves pitted against one another since the electoral understanding between the Congress and the Trinamool ended in September 2012.