Bid to silence critics: Mamata Banerjee on BJP’s demand to declare West Bengal ‘super sensitive’


Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has come down hard on the Bharatiya Janata Party after it moved the Election Commission demanding that the poll body declare West Bengal a super sensitive state and deploy central forces for the Lok Sbaha elections. In a statement on Wednesday night, the West Bengal Chief MInister termed it BJPs ploy to silence its critics. She said that the saffron partys demand is an insult to the people of West Bengal, adding that BJP leaders are involved in cases of political violence in the state. They talk about political murders, 99% TMC leaders were killed. It is because we are fighting against PM Modi and Amit Shah. This is astonishing. They have demanded media observers to be deployed. Where is the freedom of press? I am telling the BJP not to commit such blunders. Bengal respects freedom of press. EC is an impartial organisation. Why only the BJP is being served by the Election Commission, she said. On Wednesday, the BJP had submitted a memorandum to the ECI urging it to declare West Bengal as super sensitive and deploy central forces in the state to ensure free and fair conduct of the Lok Sabha polls. A delegation led by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also demanded withdrawal of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar from election duty. We have requested the Election Commission that West Bengal should be declared super-sensitive. And have also demanded that Central forces should be deployed at all polling booths in the state, Prasad told reporters after meeting EC officials The BJP delegation also demanded action against Rahul Gandhi for leveling baseless allegations against PM Modi. The party has requested the Election Commission to take action against Rahul Gandhi for leveling unverified allegations against the Prime Minister in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, though the model code of conduct is already in effect, West Bengal has 42 parliamentary seats. This time, the contest is mainly between the ruling TMC and BJP. The BJP has made significant gains in the state post-panchayat polls and several TMC leaders have already joined the saffron party. This has miffed Mamata who has been targeting the BJP leaders and not allowing their leaders helicopters to land in the state for rallies. The BJP has set a target of winning 22 seats in the state this time. The BJP has chalked out a detailed plan to counter the TMC on the ground and turn the crowd into numbers. During the 2014 general elections, the TMC had won 34 seats. While the Congress bagged four seats, the BJP and CPI(M) pocketed two seats each. West Bengal is among the three states where general elections will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. It is also the third largest state in the country to send maximum members to the Lok Sabha after Uttar Pradesh (80 seats) and Maharashtra (48 seats). Results will be declared on May 23.

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