Accusing the Election Commission of failing to prevent electoral malpractices on April 30 in West Bengal and other States, Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said here on Sunday that the poll panel should not work on the basis of “which government has appointed it”.
“Which government has given you appointment, who is your boss, these cannot be the basis for the functioning of the Election Commission,” Mr. Modi said, addressing an election rally at Asansol in the State's Bardhaman district.
“There was rigging in the elections held on April 30. Will this game continue, the BJP leader asked, adding that it was responsibility of Commission to ensure free and fair polls. I am making a serious complaint against the Election Commission publicly from Asansol. . If the Commission in its role of an umpire has the guts to conduct free and fair polls in the remaining two phases, it must listen to me carefully,” Mr. Modi said, referring to areas like West Bengal, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
His criticism directed at the EC is significant as political parties in the Opposition, including the BJP in Bengal, had complained of “massive rigging” by the ruling Trinamool Congress in the April 30 polls for nine seats.
Demand for re-polling turned down
The Opposition’s demand of re-polling on certain booths had been turned down by the Commission.
“The entire machinery is in your hands..you have more power than even the Prime Minister,” Mr. Modi said, asking then why the Commission was not performing its duties.
The BJP leader said if the polls were held peacefully in Gujarat or Maharashtra, credit would not go to the Commission.
“If the polls are peaceful in eastern U.P., Bihar and Bengal...if there is no rigging...no violence.. no allegation, then the credit goes to the Commission,” Mr. Modi pointed out.
Alleging that “false cases” were being slapped on his party’s candidate from Asansol Babul Supriyo, he pointed out, “It is the duty of the Election Commission to protect the citizens. I appeal to you to discharge your duties responsibly.”
Mr. Modi said if the panel did not like what he was saying it was free to slap another case on him, but its representative taping the speech should send his address to the Commission promptly.
“You have more power than Prime Minister” Modi says there was rigging on April 30 in Bengal
“You have more power than Prime Minister”
Modi says there was rigging on April 30 in Bengal