Elections

Cancel PM’s nomination, Mamata tells the poll panel

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on April 30, 2019 Published on April 30, 2019

Mamata Banerjee

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has written to the Election Commission (EC) alleging violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his speech at a rally in West Bengal’s Serampore.

The party has demanded that the PM provide evidence in support of his statement, failing which his nomination be cancelled.

The speech, TMC alleges, creates “an indication of impending horse trading”.

The move comes after Prime Minister Modi, during his rally, claimed that 40 TMC MLAs were in touch with the BJP and would switch sides once general election is over.

Also read: Forty TMC legislators in touch with BJP: PM

“You are requested to ask Prime Minister for evidence in support of his statement, failing which his nomination should be cancelled for violation of poll code by making such provocative and undemocratic statements,” said TMC spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien in a letter to the EC. (BusinessLine has a copy of the letter.)

The MP demanded that EC take cognisance of the “unfounded, inappropriate and illegal campaign and utterances” of the PM.

“Moreover, the tone of speech is likely to create an indication of impending horse-trading,” he added.

Brien, in his, letter has alleged that BJP has been trying each and every course available to them to influence the voters.

“Their campaign has been appalling and the leaders and members of the party have shown no regard for the Model Code of Conduct or the EC’s guidelines,” he said claiming the BJP tried to use religion to persuade the voters.

“Now, they are hinting at horse trading and how the opposition parties are making arrangements with BJP for the 2019 general election,” the TMC spokesperson wrote.

Banking on deserters

The Bengal unit of the BJP had for quite some time been building up a narrative around the idea of discontent TMC, Congress and Left Front leaders joining its ranks. Twelve of the 42 candidates that the BJP has fielded from West Bengal are deserters.

With his remark on horse trading, PM Modi is the first such senior BJP functionary to give credence or rather validate to the theory.

“Such a claim is bound to ruffle feathers of the TMC top-brass, especially, when both are locked in a pitched battle to exert dominance in the State,” said a political analyst.

‘Grandfather of Hitler’

In her latest jibe, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dared the Prime Minister to fight her “politically” and without any intimidation tactics.

Terming Modi “the most unfit PM ever”, Mamata said, Modi is the “greatest fascist (and) grandfather of Hitler”.

Also read: Patriotism being abused in the country: Modi

“I have served under many prime ministers. But the person on PM’s chair is the most unfit. The PM does not know basic political courtesies. Look at the language he uses. He thinks everyone is his servant,” Banerjee told media at a rally in Barrackpore.

 

For the latest on elections: Elections 2019

Published on April 30, 2019
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