Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, fighting to defend her turf against the BJP’s aggressive campaign to score in the national election, today thanked a range of opposition parties, including the Congress and Mayawati, for their support.
Several leaders rallied behind Mamata Banerjee as she attacked the Election Commission’s decision to cut short the poll campaign in Bengal following violence on Tuesday at BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata.
“Thanks and gratitude to @Mayawati, @yadavakhilesh, @INCIndia, @ncbn and others for expressing solidarity and support to us and the people of #Bengal. EC’s biased actions under the directions of the #BJP are a direct attack on democracy. People will give a befitting reply,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
Accusing the Election Commission of acting on the instructions of the BJP, Mamata Banerjee called the move “unethical and unconstitutional” and a “gift for Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, who was to address two more rallies on Thursday.
She also commented: “You called Rajiv (Gandhi) a corrupt leader. You called Sonia ji (Gandhi) corrupt too. Rahul (Gandhi) too. Priyanka Gandhi too. Mayawati too and you called me corrupt too. Arvind (Kejriwal) also. Who haven’t you called corrupt?”
Today, many of these leaders returned the gesture.
Backing Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and other BJP leaders of “planned targeting” of the Bengal Chief Minister in a “disgusting” and dangerous manner. “This is unbecoming for the Prime Minister of the country,” the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader said.
The Congress called the election panel’s move “an unpardonable betrayal of the Constitution” and alleged that the poll body had “become a pawn in the hands of the Modi-Shah duo.”
The order was aimed “solely at giving a free pass to the PM’s rallies,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, questioning whether the MCC (Model Code of Conduct) had become “Modi Code of Misconduct”.
The national election campaign and voting in Bengal has been marked by violence and clashes between workers of the BJP and Trinamool. On Tuesday evening, Amit Shah’s first roadshow in Kolkata ended with clashes and the vandalizing of a statue of iconic 19th century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. Both parties accused each other of inciting the violence and desecrating the statue of an icon passionately revered by Bengalis.
Amit Shah accused the Trinamool of attacking his roadshow as a part of a “conspiracy”. Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien, in turn, called the BJP chief “Dhokabaaz” and “pukeworthy”. He also held up what he called video proof that the BJP was behind the vandalism.
With inputs from agencies
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