West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly Elections | EC notice to Mamata over comments on Central forces

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee addresses an election campaign rally in support of party candidates Ratna Chatterjee and Partha Chatterjee, ahead of the 4th phase of State Assembly polls, in Kolkata, Thursday, April 8, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her “highly objectionable” statements about Central forces posted in the State for the ongoing Assembly elections. 

Among the statements cited by the EC in its notice was her appeal to women voters to “gherao” Central forces if they caused disturbance to voting.

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The EC said it found Ms. Banerjee's statements to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct as well as Sections 186 (voluntarily obstructing public servant from discharging public functions), 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and 505 (making a statement with intent to incite any class or community of persons to commit an offence against any other class or community) of the Indian Penal Code. It gave the Trinamool Congress chief time till 11 am on Saturday to reply. 

The EC notice said a delegation of TMC leaders had alleged during the Commission’s visit to West Bengal in February 21 that Border Security Force personnel were intimidating villagers living along the border to vote for a particular party. The EC said the delegation was asked to give empirical evidence of the allegation, but it did not do so. 

Citing statements by Ms. Banerjee, the notice said: “...prima facie, completely false, provocative and intemperate statements made by Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Chairperson of AITC, who is also the Hon’ble CM of West Bengal, to berate and vilify Central Paramilitary Forces during the electoral process, are causing extreme demoralisation amongst the ranks and file of these forces… .”

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 4:08:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/west-bengal-assembly-elections-ec-notice-to-mamata-over-comments-on-central-forces/article34278672.ece

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