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Mamata raps EC, sees Modi, Shah design in 8-phase polls

Soon after the Election Commission of India announced an unprecedented 8-phase Assembly election for Bengal, a furious Mamata Banerjee attacked the poll panel accusing it of playing a prejudiced role to the advantage of the BJP.

The TMC chief said the ECI was “following the commands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah,” and that the “people of Bengal will not forgive them for giving us such a humiliating deal.”

Emerging from a Trinamool Congress core committee meeting, she said, “I have reports that the list of phase-wise elections found in the BJP office completely matches with the EC’s announcement … I think as a Constitutional body it should have been more reasonable, impartial while deciding on the number of phases.”

Bengal had witnessed 7-phased elections in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Wondering as to why polls would be held in four other States in lesser number of phases, Mamata said, “They are conducting elections in Assam in three phases, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in single phase, but they are holding elections in Bengal in 8 phases … why they are heaping such an insult on the people of Bengal … the people will not take this lightly.”

The Bengal Chief Minister also said, “The EC is an important Constitutional body. If they do not give justice to the people then who will they turn to? I came to know that the election dates have been given as per the requisition of the BJP… tell me why the districts have been divided in halves for the conduct of the elections… Moreover districts like South 24 Parganas where the TMC is stronger, the elections are being held in three phases… This means that the polls have been planned as per the desire of the Modi and Shah. But let me tell you the Prime Minister and Home Minister cannot misuse their power like this.”

Saturday, 27 February 2021 | Saugar Sengupta | Kolkata

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