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Mayawati accuses EC of acting under pressure, says imposing campaign ban after PM's rally unfair

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 May 2019, 11:32 IST

BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday accused the Election Commission of India (ECI) of acting under pressure from the Central government, a day after the poll body cut short the campaign period in West Bengal by a day.

Questioning the timing of the campaign ban, Mayawati claimed the EC was being accommodative of the Prime Minister's rallies in the state.

"It is very sad that the Election Commission has banned campaigning in West Bengal, but from 10 pm today just because the Prime Minister has two rallies in the day. If they had to impose this ban, why not from today morning? This is unfair and EC is acting under pressure. We condemn this in the strongest terms. If a ban had to be imposed it should have been from today morning itself," Mayawati told ANI.

She also attacked the Chief Election Commissioner of India and said, "This also proves that under the incumbent Election Commissioner the elections aren't being conducted freely and fairly. This is very dangerous for democracy."

The BSP supremo also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of targeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

"Since the announcement of Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal has continuously been in news. For this the BJP and RSS are fully responsible. Regular election-related violence in West Bengal shows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his disciple Amit Shah are leading the campaign of targeting the Mamata Banerjee government since a long time," she said.

Calling it a 'dangerous and unjust trend', Mayawati also alleged that BJP is targeting the West Bengal Chief Minister in order to deviate attention from their 'failures'.

"The targeting of Mamata Banerjee is unjust and doesn't befit especially the Prime Minister of the country. Different types of tactics are being used against West Bengal CM and people are witnessing how she is fighting against this. BJP is trying to flare up West Bengal issues so much that people forget about important issues and their failures," she said.

On Wednesday, the EC decided to cut short the campaign period in WB after violence was reported during Amit Shah's roadshow on Tuesday.

"No election campaigning to be held in nine parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal, namely Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, South and North Kolkata, from 10 pm tomorrow till the conclusion of polls," Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar told media.

Campaigning was originally scheduled to end at 5 pm on Friday for the nine constituencies that will go to polls on May 19.

PM Modi is scheduled to address election rallies in Mathurapur and Dumdum today.


First published: 16 May 2019, 11:32 IST