Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of interfering in the functioning of the Election Commission of India (EC), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday threatened to protest outside the ECI’s office in Kolkata
“Who is running ECI? Amit Shah babu, aren’t you interfering it its affairs? This is my question…My security in-charge has been changed. What do they want, to kill me?” Ms. Banerjee asked, while addressing a rally at Chatna in Bankura district.
The CM said that if the BJP continued to interfere with the functioning of the ECI, then she would stage a protest outside the poll panel’s office. “If this continues, I will not back out from protesting at the office of the Election Commission in Kolkata with broken leg,” she said.
The Director in charge of providing security to Ms. Banerjee was changed on the instructions of the ECI after she sustained injuries while campaigning in Nandigram on March 10.
Ms. Banerjee, who addressed three public rallies in the district, wondered what Amit Shah was doing in West Bengal. “ Amit Shah is frustrated at the poor turnout at his rallies. Instead of governing the country, he is sitting in Kolkata conspiring against TMC (Trinamool Congress) leaders,” she said.
Mr. Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs, is one of the BJP’s star campaigners. On Monday, he held a meeting with different State office-bearers in West Bengal.
Ms. Banerjee addressed two other public meetings in Bankura district at Raipur in Mejiya. In all the rallies, she targeted the BJP for using money to buy votes and create a religious divide. “Do not allow the BJP to buy votes,” she said.
The Chief Minister also targeted those who had left her party and joined the BJP, calling them “goons and Mir Zafar”. “ For us, it is blessing that these people have left. The TMC is a party of common people,” she said.
Ms. Banerjee reminded the people of the State of how she had led the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic from the front. Emphasising that the schemes started by her government had yielded benefits to the people of the State, Ms. Banerjee said that if voted to power, her government would start the distribution of food grains under the public distribution system for every household.
The State leadership of the BJP, however, criticised Ms. Banerjee’s remarks targeted at the Election Commission, and said that it was unfortunate that the CM was pressuring a “constitutional body” by making such comments.