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Bengal poll: Another massive blow to Mamta; ECI sends notice to the Bengal CM

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India on Friday issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee seeking a response to her alleged comment asking people to attack central security forces by 11 am on Saturday.

The Election Commission said that during her speeches on March 28 and April 7, Banerjee had allegedly accused the central forces of intimidating voters and urged women to retaliate against them.

“Who gave so much power to them that the central police are threatening the women without allowing them to cast their votes? I saw the same thing in 2019, I saw the same thing in 2016,” Banerjee said in the March rally.

Moreover, bannerjee said, “I know under whose instruction they beat up and how they beat up. It is your duty to save the family of the people. If any of our mothers and sisters suffers a single strike with the stick attack them with ladle, spuds and knife. I am telling you. It is the right of women. And if any of our mothers and sisters is denied entry in the voting compartment all of you come out and revolt.”

The Election Commission said the “false, provocative and intemperate statements” attempted to “vilify” central forces and had caused “extreme demoralization” in their ranks.”

The Election Commission also accused Banerjee of “sparing no effort to ensure that a deep wedge and rift” was created between the Bengal police and central forces, which, it said, was bound to have “serious consequential damage” even after the elections.

In its previous notice on Wednesday, the Election Commission had asked the Bengal Chief Minister to explain remarks “openly demanding votes on communal grounds” while campaigning in Hooghly district on April 3.

Banerjee in the campaign had said, “I am requesting my minority brothers and sisters with folded hands don’t divide the minority votes after listening to the devil who had taken money from the BJP. Comrades of the CPM and BIP are roaming around with money given by BJP to divide the minority votes.”

Reacting to that notice, she said a day later: “EC can issue 10 notices to me, but my reply will be the same. I will always speak against any division in Hindu, Muslim votes. I will always stand against division of voters along religious lines.”

Further, pointing out to PM Modi banerjee added, “Why no complaint has been filed against Narendra Modi, who every day talks about Hindu and Muslim? How many complaints have been filed against those who had uttered the word ”mini-Pakistan” during the Nandigram campaigns?”

West Bengal will go to the fourth phase of polling in the eight-round Assembly elections on Saturday. The results will be out on May 2.

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