Mamata Slams 8-Phase Polling In Bengal, Asks EC If It Was Done On PM’s Suggestion

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (File Image)

With dates for West Bengal Assembly polls announced on Friday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the Election Commission’s decision to bifurcate the polls into eight phases and alleged that it was being done to suit the convenience of the BJP.

Addressing mediapersons here after the poll dates were announced , Banerjee said, “I request the ECI to consider West Bengal as their own state, not through the eyes of BJP. I respect ECI’s decision, but why have they broken-up the districts. South 24 Parganas is our stronghold. Voting will be held in three different phases there. Has it been done for the convenience of PM Modi and Amit Shah?”
Mamata Banerjee alleged that the BJP was misusing its authority as the ruling party at the Centre to influence state polls.

“The Centre cannot misuse its powers for a state election. If they do it, then they will have to face the music. We are common people. We will fight our battle. BJP has sent money to all districts through agencies. I Request ECI to stop the misuse of money.”

“The Union Home Minister should be concerned about the country. He cannot misuse his powers for elections here. We welcome the Prime Minister but he cannot misuse his powers for West Bengal polls,” added Banerjee.

She further alleged that the Centre has been using the government agencies to fight her.

“I am the only woman serving chief minister at the present. They are so scared of me. They are coming with all force along with agencies just to defeat one woman,” said Banerjee.

The ECI on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Also Read: Election Commission Announces Poll Dates For Four States, & One UT: Counting on May 2

Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, “West Bengal will see eight-phase elections. 30 Assembly constituencies in five districts will go to polls in the first phase on March 27. 30 Assembly constituencies in four districts will go to polls in the second phase on April 1. In the third phase, 31 constituencies in 3 districts will go to the polls on April 6. 44 constituencies in five districts will go for polling on April 10.”

“In the fifth phase, 45 constituencies in six districts will witness polling on April 17. 43 constituencies in four districts in the sixth phase will go to polls on April 22. 36 constituencies in five districts in the seventh phase will go for polling on April 26. In the eighth and final phase, 35 constituencies in four districts will witness polling on April 29,” he said.

The ECI has appointed two special police observers — Vivek Dubey and MK Das — for West Bengal.

With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state.

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