Mamata attacks EC, says voters ‘tortured’ by central forces

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Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday lashed out at the Election Commission yet again, accusing central forces of “torturing” the electorate during the fourth phase of the assembly polls.

“Today, I heard that in the name of central forces, voters were tortured. Can you imagine section 144 (prohibitory orders) has been imposed? Elections are a celebration of democracy and they (the EC) are saying ‘restrict people’s movement’ and put them under curfew. What is this nonsense? Nuisance is going on,” she said at an election rally in Patuli in suburban Kolkata.

The Trinamool Congress supremo dubbed the opposition (CPI-M, BJP and Congress) as “cowards” and said they don’t trust people.

“No one should vote for them. This proves their failure. The power-brokers of CPI-M and the BJP leaders of Delhi, I tell you, you will not benefit from this,” she asserted.

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Reiterating her grievance about the polls extending for “three months” whereas in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, they span only one day, Banerjee said developmental work was hampered due to the time frame.

“The EC conducts the polls and we have to agree to it, even in this heat. It really affects me because we lose precious work days. Why three months? It could be 294 days. And amid that Delhi’s violence impacts Bengal,” she said.

“Today’s poll date is historic… we will achieve majority and in the next days, we will cross the mark,” she claimed.

With Monday’s poling in 49 constituencies, elections have already been held in 216 of the 294 constituencies in the state.

While 53 constituencies go to the hustings on April 30, the remaining 25 will vote on May 5.

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