Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday alleged that central forces were asking voters in Malda Dakshin and Balurghat constituencies to cast their votes for the saffron party, PTI reported. Voting took place in the two constituencies on Tuesday.
“I have got information that the central forces are sitting inside booths in Englishbazar in Malda Dakshin and asking voters to vote for the BJP,” she said at Arambagh in Hooghly district. “They do not have the right to do such a thing. We have informed the Election Commission about our reservations regarding this. Why are they [central forces] doing it? The police cannot enter a polling booth.”
Central security forces are overseeing around 92% booths in the five seats in the state where polling was held on Tuesday. At least 350 companies of Central Armed Police Force have been posted in the state to oversee the election process, The Indian Express reported.
Banerjee said central forces could come to the state during elections, but they should work with the assistance of the state force and not engage in politics. “You cannot use the central forces,” she said. “You did the same thing during the 2016 [Assembly] elections in West Bengal. I have not forgotten it. West Bengal will teach the BJP an apt lesson.”
At a rally in Khanakul, Banerjee claimed that the general elections were planned to suit the BJP and that the voting process was being “dragged for three months” at BJP’s behest, PTI reported. She said the polls have never been held for such a long period of time in the country’s history.
“It’s our bad luck that Lok Sabha elections are being held in peak summer,” she said. “People have to cast their votes battling this heat.” She said the West Bengal government had finished the panchayat elections by March last year. “But they [BJP] dragged the general election till May,” she said, while claiming that the elections were planned to suit BJP leaders.
She said: “Polls are being held in seven phases. It has been planned in such a way that the BJP leaders can move from one state to another for campaigning.”