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Will launch 55-day hunger strike outside EC office if..., warns Mamata

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
April 15, 2024 17:16 IST
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday criticised the Election Commission for "favouring" the Bharatiya Janata Party and threatened to go on a hunger strike outside the poll panel's office if there is a single riot in the state.

IMAGE: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the padyatra occasion of Poila Boishakh, at Chalsa, in Jalpaiguri, April 14, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

While addressing a rally at Alipurduar, Banerjee accused the Election Commission of removing the deputy inspector general of police of Murshidabad at the behest of the BJP.


"Even today, just based on BJP's instructions, the DIG of Murshidabad was changed. Now, if there are riots in Murshidabad and Malda, the responsibility will lie with the Election Commission. The BJP wanted to change the police officers to trigger riots and violence. If there is even one riot, the ECI will be responsible as they are looking after law and order here," she said.

The TMC supremo said she would launch a hunger strike outside the EC office for 55 days if needed.

"If I can fast for farmers for 26 days (during anti-land acquisition protests in Singur), I can go on a hunger strike for 55 days outside your (EC) office as well," she said.

Banerjee slammed the BJP for threatening the Opposition with jail.

"I will see how many jails you have. How many cops do you have? How many people will you thrash? I have been assaulted a lot of times. I know how to fight. I am not a coward," she said.

Earlier in the day, while addressing a rally in Cooch Behar, Banerjee dared the Income Tax officials to check the chopper used by BJP leaders for the election campaign, a day after a row erupted over the TMC's claim of a "raid" by Income Tax officials targeting a helicopter used by party leader Abhishek Banerjee.

Banerjee said at both Coochbehar and Alipurduar that the BJP is "misusing" central agencies against the Trinamool Congress ahead of the elections.

"Income Tax officials conducted a raid and searched Abhishek Banerjee's chopper before the trial run but found nothing. Those I-T officials claimed that we had inputs that there was money and gold in the chopper, but they found nothing. We don't engage in such acts. It is the BJP that is involved in such things. But will the officials of the central agency ever dare to check BJP leaders' choppers," she said.

The Trinamool Congress on Sunday said its general secretary Abhishek Banerjee's helicopter was raided by Income Tax officials at Kolkata's Behala flying club and alleged this was part of a deliberate ploy by the BJP to harass and intimidate opposition candidates whom they cannot engage with politically.

As a row erupted over the TMC's claim of a "raid", I-T department sources claimed that there was no enforcement action such as a search or survey and the TMC leader wasn't even present in the chopper.

The TMC supremo also accused the BJP of misusing central agencies and not allowing a "level playing field for all political parties," in the elections.

"The BJP might use the NIA just days before the first phase of the election to arrest our leaders so that they can have a free run," she said.

Alleging Narendra Modi has snatched away the minimum basic right of protest by opposition and infringed personal liberty, she said at Alipurduar, "We had seen such a good person like Atal Bihari Vajpayee as PM and now we can see Modi as PM. The worst. We have to remove this regime through our ballots."

Banerjee said all honest, hard-working, upright IPS and IAS officers are being shunted by EC as prodded by BJP and all "tainted", saffron-loyalist, partisan officers are being brought at the helm to foment disturbances for electoral gains and keep the honest officers inactive.

Turning to the condition of tea plantation workers, she said while Modi had "failed" to deliver his earlier promise to open tea gardens, "our government has mobilised its own resources to sustain the daily wage earners economically bringing smile on their face in the festive season."

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024