Six-phase Bengal polls result of stepmotherly attitude: Mamata

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Kolkata, March 4 (IANS) Terming the staggered six-phase assembly election schedule announced for West Bengal as a “result of the stepmotherly” attitude towards the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused the CPI-M, Congress and BJP of hatching a conspiracy to defame the state.

“We welcome the Election Commission’s announcement of the polls schedule. But we see some districts will have polls on two dates. In contrast, Kerala, Tamil Nadu will have single-day polls. Even a state like Assam, where there are problems of violence and communal clashes, will have two-day polls.

“But Bengal will have seven polling days. Not that we have problems with it. It will work to our advantage. But we find it disturbing. We don’t like this step-motherly attitude shown towards Bengal,” Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said at a media meet here.

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She alleged that her opponents were giving Bengal a bad name as they were unable to combat her politically.

“Those who cannot fight politically, they always try to defame Bengal by hatching conspiracies. CPI-M, Congress, BJP do it all the time,” she said.

Asked to comment on the Election Commission’s decision to send a large number of central police force personnel for the Bengal polls, Banerjee shot back: “The Election Commission can send even ten crore voters also. We will be very happy. Ultimately, people will decide.”

She said the discriminatory attitude to states like Bengal and Bihar (which also had six phase assembly elections late last year) was “not proper”.

However, Banerjee hastened to add that she had no problems with the EC decision.

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“It is the prerogative of the EC. We will fight the battle, no problem. But sometimes I feel disturbed when some political parties which did not do anything for 34 years (a reference to the CPI-M led Left Front which ruled the state from 1977 to 2011), just because now they are in the opposition, now they create a nuisance.”

The six-phase Bengal assembly elections with seven polling dates is spread over a month in April-May.

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