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TMC submits memorandum to ECI on Mamata incident

TMC MPs Saugata Roy, Satabdi Roy and Kakoli Ghosh talk to the media after meeting the Election Commission of India, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A six-member delegation of the Trinamool Congress on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the alleged attack on party president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

The memorandum quoted various comments made by BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the run-up to the Wednesday incident in Nandigram. Calling it a “deep-rooted conspiracy”, it alleged that the “attack” was “premeditated”.

‘Attack’ on Mamata: Drama won’t yield results this time, says BJP

Amid this development, BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said in a tweet that the party had, in a meeting with ECI officials on Friday also, requested the release of “raw footage” of the incident where Ms. Banerjee sustained injuries. “BJP has requested the EC to release raw footage of Ms Mamata Banerjee’s ‘accident’ to dispel rumours being spread by the Trinamool Congress leaders. The BJP also seeks action against TMC leaders for spreading misinformation in violation of the model code,” he said. The party urged the ECI to set up a panel to probe the incident. It also sought the despatch of a special observer to Nandigram as it was a “sensitive constituency”.

TMC lists 8 instances

The Trinamool Congress demanded an “immediate, thorough and unbiased investigation” into the incident. To underline their claim that the alleged attack was pre-planned, the party, in the memorandum submitted to the ECI, listed eight instances.

Mamata Banerjee is under threat due to abrupt removal of State DGP: TMC says in complaint to EC

Two days before the incident, on March 8, as per the TMC, BJP State president Dilip Ghosh put up a caricature of Ms. Banerjee, depicting she would be hit at Nandigram. The removal of the State Director General of Police was also a part of this conspiracy, it claimed. On March 9, a day before the incident, without consulting the State government, it said, the DGP was removed by the ECI. 

The memorandum quoted a conversation between BJP MP Saumitra Khan and Minister of State Babul Supriyo on Twitter to support their theory. On the very day of the incident, the TMC said, the BJP complained against the police personnel responsible for Ms. Banerjee’s security. By 6.30 p.m. that day, it claimed, the Superintendent of Police and the local police were “suspiciously absent” when the “attack” took place. It also alleged that eye-witnesses were planted. 

Modi’s speech 

 Importantly, the memorandum cited a speech of Mr. Modi as evidence. At the ‘Brigade Cholo Rally’ on March 7, 2021, he said ‘ lekin jab scooty ne Nandigram mein girna taye kiya hai toh hum kya kare (if the scooter has decided to fall in Nandigram what can we do?)” 

“There is a clear nexus between post by Dilip Ghosh on Facebook, multiple complaints by BJP seeking removal of DGP, the unilateral decision of the ECI to remove the erstwhile DGP, the plan revealed by Saumitra Khan on Twitter and BJP’s request to suspend security personnel of Ms. Banerjee,” the memorandum said. 

‘ECI’s credibility stake’ 

After the meeting with the ECI, Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’ Brien, Lok Sabha members Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mandal and Satabdi Roy and Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen, speaking to reporters, said the ECI’s credibility was at stake. Ms. Dastidar said the public perception in West Bengal was that the ECI was not a neutral body. Mr. Roy said, “It is not for us to repose faith in the Commission, it is for them to at least appear fair in the eyes of the general public.” 

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 3:37:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/trinamool-delegation-meets-election-commission-demands-high-level-probe-into-attack-on-mamata/article34051299.ece

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