West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly Elections | Goons have entered Nandigram, we want free and fair polls: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee talks to media representatives in front of her temporary residence, in Nandigram, Wednesday, March 31, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Alleging that goons from other States have taken shelter in Nandigram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she does not want any favour from the Election Commission and all she wants is free and fair polls.

“Why are outsider goons allowed in Nandigram. Don’t want favour from Election Commission. We only want free and fair elections,” Ms. Banerjee told journalists in Goghat in Hooghly. She said her party has complained to the E.C. several times on the issue. Ms. Banerjee is contesting against BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram which is going to the polls on April 1.

She said at a public meeting the BJP leaders are sitting in hotels with huge amounts of money under the nose of the Election Commission.

“There are several BJP leaders sitting in hotels with huge amounts of money and distributing from there. Where is the Election Commission? Where is naka checking [checking at important intersections]?” She also took a dig at the hundreds of BJP leaders visiting the State. “They cannot take on Mamata Banerjee alone, so they are coming in hundreds. What kind of leaders are they?” Ms. Banerjee assured her supporters that she will leave Nandigram only after the election is over on Thursday evening.

Also read: Nandigram on edge as high-decibel campaigning draws to a close

The BJP also registered a complaint with the E.C. alleging that the remarks made by the Chief Minister are resulting in political violence. In its letter to the poll panel, the BJP alleged that despite the “pro-active” role of the Commission, “large-scale violence” has been reported during the past several days due to the utterances of the Trinamool Congress chairperson. The BJP leaders have expressed reservation over a comment where the Chief Minister is allegedly heard saying the Central forces will leave the State in a few days but people have to stay even after that.

All booths in Nandigram declared sensitive

The Election Commission has declared all booths in Nandigram sensitive. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were issued in the constituency on Wednesday where 22 companies of the Central forces have been deployed. In the second phase on Thursday, 30 seats are going to the polls across four districts.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 1:46:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/west-bengal-assembly-polls-goons-have-entered-nandigram-we-want-free-and-fair-polls-mamata/article34208290.ece

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