Kolkata, April 30 (IANS) A first information report (FIR) was lodged against West Bengal assembly deputy speaker and Trinamool Congress leader Sonali Guha on Saturday after she was seen giving instructions over phone to “thrash the CPI-M agent”.
Taking cognisance of the remarks, the Election Commission (EC) ordered lodging of the FIR against Guha, who is defending her Satgachhia assembly constituency in South 24 Parganas.
Accusing the EC of not taking remedial measures despite a malfunctioning EVM that disrupted polls in a booth in Kashibati in her constituency for over an hour, Guha staged a sit-in protest along with some of her party activists.
“The EVM here has been malfunctioning; it has been more than an hour that polling has been stopped because of that, but the EC has taken no action. “I will continue my sit-in unless the EVM is replaced,” said Guha.
A little later, talking over her mobile, Guha was shown by TV news channels as saying: “Mere baar kore dis CPM agentder ekdom, ora EVM kharap kore rekhe diye che” (Thrash and drive away the CPM agents from the booth, they are behind the EVM not functioning).”
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma said the FIR was lodged following a specific complaint from the returning officer.
“A case has been started against Sonali Guha in Bishnupur police station under 188, 171C and 506 of Indian Penal Code for disobeying order of public servant, interfering with electoral process and criminal intimidation,” Sharma said. The charges are bailable.
Earlier, both the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Congress condemned her remarks and demanded Guha be arrested immediately.
“She should be immediately arrested for her remarks. Not only that, the EC should ensure that such people are barred from contesting the polls,” said state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
CPI-M politburo member Mohammad Salim echoed Chowdhury’s views and said the party has moved the EC with a complaint.
“We have taken cognisance of the remarks by Sonali Guha and the returning officer has been directed to file an FIR against her,aA,A said an EC official.
This is not the first time that Guha has hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons.
Last August, she was censured by her own party for calling leader of the opposition and CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra “nine months pregnant”.
In December 2014 she was caught on camera threatening and manhandling residents of an apartment in Howrah district. Her actions had even led to Governor K. N. Tripathi expressing displeasure.
In 2008, she allegedly abused a police officer of Nodakhali police station in South 24 Parganas.