Trinamool Moves EC Against Central Forces

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Arambag/Kolkata: Going on the offensive against the Central forces, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress on Tuesday moved the Election Commission, accusing the troopers of influencing the electorate to vote for the BJP during phase-3 of the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal.

State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made public the party’s move while addressing an election rally at Khanakul in Hoogly district.

“Today I have got the news that in Malda South constituency’s Englishbazar, Central force personnel entered the polling booth number 166 and 167 and influenced the voters to vote for BJP. They have no rights to do this. We have lodged an official complaint against them,” Banerjee said.

“Police cannot enter the polling booths without the permission of the returning officer. They are asking people standing on the queues to vote for BJP,” she alleged.

Malda south and Balughat are two of the five Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies, where polling was held on Tuesday.

Trinamool’s North Dinajpur district president Amal Acharya said in Itahar and other places, the Central force officers threatened to open fire as they had done in Uttar Pradesh.

“The belief that the Central force will help in conducting a free and fair election is shattered. Their partiality is evident,” Acharya said.

As per a source in the Chief Electoral Office, the commission has received a complaint against the Central forces and has sought a report.

Meanwhile, Banerjee urged the troopers to stick to their duty of maintaining law and order and not try to influence the elections.

“The Central force may come during the elections. They will come for a day, conduct elections and go back. State police guide them and help them out. I love both the forces. I do not differentiate between them,” she said.

“I would request you and the state police to do your job. You are our guest and friend. If we form government at the Centre, you will work with me. Modi ji will not be there,” Banerjee said.