BJP approaches EC alleging TMC not allowing programmes

BJP approaches EC alleging TMC not allowing programmes

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee. (PTI Photo)

The BJP on Monday accused the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal of not allowing its political programmes in the state and sought the Election Commission's intervention so that the Lok Sabha polls can be held in a "free and fair" manner.

A high-level BJP delegation submitted a memorandum to the poll panel to highlight instances that show that the TMC "does not believe" in democracy, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was also a member of the group, told reporters.

"In the interest of wanting free and fair environment in which the Lok Sabha polls can be conducted, we have come to bring to the notice of EC certain happenings in West Bengal which has complete cooperation of TMC. Instances we highlighted point out that TMC doesn't believe in democracy.

"The party which is ruling in the state and its supporters are out in the open to ensure that no other political party gets permission to carry out its legitimate activities ahead of the polls,'' she said.

Besides Sitharaman, the other members of the delegation included Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and S S Ahluwalia, and BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya, Bhupender Yadav, Anil Baluni and Mukul Roy.

The TMC is rattled with the BJP's growth in the state and that is why it is restricting the saffron party's programmes and even not allowing some rallies, she claimed.

Sitharaman said the state officials are "in cahoots" with the ruling party to target the BJP by delaying permissions for events for which permissions were sought three to four days ago.

Attacking the state government, she said that even Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was denied permission to land in West Bengal to address two rallies on Sunday despite permission being sought from the district officials well in advance.

"Probably a freudian slip from his mouth (official) that there was pressure from above that I can't give permission for this meeting," she said.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the BJP has demanded that the poll panel thoroughly assess the "alarming situation" in West Bengal.

"We have also requested the poll panel to remove those state government officers who are acting as agents of the state government and sought deployment of central armed forces for smooth, free and fair conduct of the election in the state,'' he said.

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