Lok Sabha Election 2019

I am astonished, says Mamata Banerjee on BJP’s demand to declare West Bengal ‘super sensitive’

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Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for demanding that all the 77,000-odd booths in West Bengal be declared “super sensitive”. The West Bengal Chief Minister also raised the pitch against the BJP’s demand for appointing a “media observer” in the State during polls, and termed it an “attack on the freedom of the press”.

“I am really astonished,” Ms. Banerjee told presspersons after a meeting with the party’s candidates at her residence. Asserting that Bengal was the “most peaceful state”, she wondered why the BJP was so “scared”.

“Now every BJP worker wants that they should be guarded by central forces,” Ms. Banerjee quipped She urged the media to oppose the BJP’s demand for the appointment of “media observers” in the State. “Instead of countering fake news they are calling for media observers. This is an insult and I request media fraternity to raise their voice against this,” she said.

Earlier in the day, State Congress chief Somendra Nath Mitra met the Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab and demanded that all the polling booths in the State be classified as “sensitive”.

Mr. Mitra, who led a Congress delegation that included Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya, also demanded that personnel of the central armed police forces be deployed at each polling booth in the State.

A BJP delegation comprising senior party leaders made the same demands before the Election Commission of India in the national capital.

Mamata dares Modi

Responding to a question about speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may contest from West Bengal, Ms. Banerjee dared Mr. Modi to contest from any of the 42 seats in the State.

“If he [Mr. Modi] contests from here we will be very happy. Bengal is a very sensitive place all the booths here are sensitive. Let him contest. Let him bring his crores of army of RSS, VHP and Bajrand Dal supporters,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 8:40:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/i-am-astonished-says-mamata-banerjee-on-bjps-demand-to-declare-west-bengal-super-sensitive/article26525156.ece

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