Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Thursday claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party was targetting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to divert attention from the failures of the Narendra Modi government.

“Under the leadership of PM Modi and his stooges, the whole BJP and government have, through a well-planned strategy, been targeting Mamata [Banerjee’s] government for a long time,” Mayawati said. “And now during Lok Sabha polls also, she is being targeted with this conspiracy so that people’s attention is diverted from their shortcomings and failures.”

Mayawati called it a “dangerous and unjust trend” and one which doesn’t suit the prime minister of the country, ANI reported. She claimed different tactics were being used against Banerjee. “People are witnessing how she [Banerjee] is fighting against this.”

Mayawati said the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had tried to create a similar situation in Uttar Pradesh, but he mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance has not allowed it to be fulfilled.

Mayawati made the statement in the wake of the Election Commission’s decision to curtail campaigning in West Bengal. The former chief minister claimed the poll panel was acting under pressure from the Centre. Modi is scheduled to address rallies in Laxmikantapur and Dum Dum in West Bengal before campaigning ends on Thursday.

“Election Commission has banned campaigning in West Bengal, but from 10 pm today just because PM has two rallies in the day,” ANI quoted her as saying. “If they had to ban then why not from today morning? This is unfair and EC [Election Commission] is acting under pressure.”

She also blamed the chief election commissioner, saying the Lok Sabha election were not being held in a “totally free and fair manner” under his tenure, PTI reported.

The Election Commission of India had said that campaigning in West Bengal will end by 10 pm on Thursday. Campaigning would have ended at 5 pm on Friday in normal circumstances, according to the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct. The panel took the decision in response to violence in Kolkata during Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday evening.

Opposition leaders had criticised the poll panel’s decision with the Congress terming it a “dark day in the history of democracy”.