Mamata blasts EC after it show-causes her for poll code violation (Roundup)

Kolkata, April 14 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday went all guns blazing against the Election Commission which show-caused her for violation of the model code of conduct and also announced initiating legal action against controversial Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal.

Barely minutes after Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi informed the media about show-causing Banerjee over her announcement of making Asansol a district and other utterances, the Trinamool supremo thundered “people will show-cause the commission” on May 19 when results of the assembly polls will be declared.

“It was brought to the knowledge of the commission that a statement was made in Asansol that Asansol district will be set up, and (there were) certain other utterances which are contained in our notice,” Zaidi told the media in Kolkata.

On threats by Birbhum district Trinamool president Anubrata Mondal that the opposition would “vanish” on the day of the polls there (April 17), Zaidi said the poll panel was taking action.

“Barring one, all political parties have brought to our attention the alleged incident in the district and the commission is initiating urgent legal action against any such person. You will come to know soon,” he said.

The full bench of the EC held day-long meetings with police and administration officials and also met delegations from various political parties ahead of the next phase of the state assembly polls scheduled for April 17.

Appearing unmoved, Banerjee said she stood by whatever she had said and lashed out against the poll panel while addressing a rally in Murarai of Birbhum district.

“They (the opposition) have complained to the EC against me. Whatever I have said I stand by my point. I still stand by my point.

“The CPI-M, Congress and the BJP have their men in the EC. You can’t rob me of my democratic rights. Whatever I have said, I have done the right thing. I will say the same thing thousands of times,” she said.

She also warned her political opponents of seeking “inch by inch” replies from them for the canards and disinformation spread against her.

“I will take replies inch by inch for the canards… for the injustice done to me, the character assassination they have indulged in.”

Lashing out at the poll panel for threatening legal action against Mondal, a fuming Banerjee asked why shouldn’t leaders of other parties like the CPI-M’s Mohammed Salim or state Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury be arrested.

“Why shouldn’t (CPI-M leader) Sujon (Chakraborty), Biman (Bose) and Buddahdeb (Bhattacharjee) be arrested?” she asked.

Pointing to the removal of Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar and the changing of “300-350 officers-in-charge” of police stations, Banerjee accused the EC of “doing whatever the Congress, BJP and the CPI-M asks you to do”.

“Are we not human beings also? Why should everything be done unilaterally?” she asked.

The opposition dubbed Banerjee’s outbursts against the EC as an attempt to distract the masses from the issues plaguing the Trinamool.

“The way the Saradha scam and the Narada sting operation have tarnished her image, the chief minster’s attack on the EC is nothing but a ploy to distract the masses from these issues,” said Congress MP Chowdhury.

He also accused the Trinamool of trying to influence the lower rung of the poll panel through inducements.

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