After the Election Commission (EC) imposed a 24-hour ban on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, she decided to demonstrate against the order by way of organising a dharna (sit-in). The EC had found she had violated provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and Sections of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The poll body had earlier issued notices to Banerjee for violating the model code of conduct. Mamata had allegedly urged the Muslim community to vote for the AITC at a public meeting in Tarakeshwar. At another rally, she had accused central forces of intimidating voters and asked the crowd to gherao central security forces.
Responding to the poll body’s second notice involving the central forces, Mamata said that she had only called upon the voters, specifically, voters who are women, to protest (democratically by gherao) if and when somebody (including CAPF) created any obstruction in their right to vote.
The BJP had approached the Election Commission seeking action against the AITC chief alleging that she has violated the Representation of the People Act by asking Muslims to come together and vote for her party AITC in the state assembly polls. A BJP leaders’ delegation, including Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, party’s national secretary Sunil Deodhar, its leader GVL Narasimha Rao, had met top officials of the poll panel and submitted a memorandum demanding action against Mamata Banerjee and her party.
Meanwhile, AITC chief Mamata Banerjee has announced that she will sit on a 24-hout dharna to protest against the ECI’s on her. “To protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission of India, I will sit on dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Murti, Kolkata from 12 noon,” she tweeted.
Banerjee was slated to hold four rallies today in Nadia and North 24 Parganas where polling be held in the fifth phase of Assembly elections on 17 April.
Another AITC leader Derek O’Brien said that the EC stood for “extremely compromised”. “12 April. BLACK DAY in our democracy,” O’Brien said in a tweet as he expressed confidence that the TMC will win for a record third term.