Presidential poll: Trinamool, BJP spar over violation of norms

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The West Bengal assembly on Monday witnessed verbal duels between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP with each party alleging violation of polling norms by the other.

Soon after the polling started on Monday morning, a total of 69 BJP legislators, led by the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, reached the assembly premises to cast their votes. They were sporting Panjis, a yellow piece of cloth that represents tribal culture. They said that since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, Draupadi Murmu, was representing the tribal community they sported the Panjis as an expression of solidarity with Murmu.

However, the Trinamool Congress objected to the sporting of these pieces of cloth that represent tribal culture by the BJP legislators within the assembly premises where the Presidential poll was being conducted.

West Bengal finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharya told mediapersons that they have informed the chief election officer (CEO), West Bengal, about this alleged violation of the model code of conduct.

“Not just the BJP legislators, but also the election agent of the NDA candidate, was sporting the same piece of cloth. It is to influence the poll within the assembly premises. We would like to see what action the Election Commission of India takes in the matter,” she said.

Suvendu Adhikari rubbished such allegations and said that sporting a piece of cloth that represents a tradition of a particular community under no circumstances violates the model code of conduct.

The BJP too has complained to the CEO against the Trinamool Congress’s national general secretary and party MP, Avishek Bandopadhyay alleging violation of the model of conduct when he came to the assembly to cast his vote.

BJP’s legislator from Purulia assembly constituency Sudip Mukhopadhyay, who filed the complaint with the CEO, told media persons that violating the norms Avishek entered the assembly premises in a 15-car convoy and with a huge number of followers, a clear violation of the code of conduct.

“As per norms, an MP or an MLA, is supposed to come to the assembly for voting in a car where he will be accompanied only by his driver and none else. So this is a clear violation of model code of conduct,” he said.

However. Trinamool Congress’s chief whip in the West Bengal assembly, Nirmal Ghosh said the BJP is unnecessarily politicising the issue. “Avishek is entitled to Z-category security and hence came in the convoy,” Ghosh said.

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