Elections 2021

Mamata seeking minorities support reflects their votes slipping away: Modi

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on April 06, 2021

Narendra Modi   -  REUTERS

Had the BJP made a similar appeal to Hindus, a communal colour would have been given.

In another scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that the Trinamool Congress was "going to lose Assembly polls" and was readying excuses in this regard. The ruling party here has scored a "self-goal". 

He pointed out to the Chief Minister's recent speeches and how she has been urging a minority community to "block vote" for her, claiming that had the same been done by the BJP and the PM, then it would have been given a "communal" colour.

"Didi, even Muslims are not with you. You have lost that vote bank, too, and now you are urging them to block vote for your party. Imagine, if I had done the same for Hindu, then it would have been given a communal tone, and you would have brought the roof down; gone to the Election Commission of India and et al. l," he said addressing a public rally in Cooch Behar in the northern region of West Bengal. 

In some previous rallies, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to the minority community to not divide votes and "fall for the BJP's trap". 

 "You are making such appeals in public. What greater proof would you need that Trinamool is losing elections," he said, adding that the CM's antics on polling day in Nandigram (where she was held up at a booth for nearly 2 hours alleging rigging) was more proof of her being on shaky ground.

Repeated attacks on the Election Commission, accusing central forces of bias and questioning the EVMS reflect poorly her confidence in the election process. "In two phases, there was near peaceful voting. As CM of a state, it would make me proud. But the CM here is rattled. She is wondering why there is no violence," he claimed. 

The Prime Minister reiterated that the BJP would win the elections, and Modi will "repay the love of the people by manifolds through development of the region". 

Phase III polls

Meanwhile, several incidents of violence were reported from parts of the 31-odd constituencies of Bengal, where polling is taking place today. 

Till 1 PM, there was a near 54 per cent voter turnout across parts of the three districts that went to polls – Hooghly, South 24-Parganas and Howrah.

There were reports of the mother of a BJP worker being lynched, allegedly by Trinamool Congress workers, in one of the villages of Goghat (Hooghly). The Trinamool candidate in Arambag, Sujata Mondal Khan (wife of BJP MP Saumitra Khan) was attacked, allegedly by BJP workers, during a visit to one of the booths in her constituency. The party has filed a formal complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI). 

This apart, there were reports of clashes between Trinamool and ISF supporters in parts of South 24 Parganas. Trinamool alleged that its booth level agents were not allowed entry in polling booths or were "beaten up and thrown out" in some places. 

Other regular complaints levelled mainly by the state's ruling party include intimidating voters allegedly by central forces, EVM malfunctioning, etc. 

 The Election Commission has also suspended some polling officers after EVM and VVPAT slips were found from a Trinamool leader's home. 

 

 

Published on April 06, 2021

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