West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday urged the Election Commission to bring back ballot papers, saying “municipality and other elections should be done via ballot boxes”. Banerjee made the comments at the Martyr’s Day rally organised by the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata to commemorate the killing of 13 people in police firing in 1993.
“The Lok Sabha election in 2019 is a mystery, not history,” Banerjee said. “We do not want EVMs. We want the ballot box to be brought back.” The Trinamool Congress chief also said that her party wanted change and not revenge.
Banerjee accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of boasting about winning 18 seats in the Lok Sabha polls. “When we had won 26 seats in the past, we did not take over any party office,” the chief minister said. “We won with our hard work.” Banerjee said the saffron party should first return the “black money” and “cut money” it allegedly used to win the General Elections. The Trinamool Congress chairperson also promised to launch a statewide protest on July 26 to ask the BJP to give back the black money it had allegedly siphoned off.
Banerjee also brought up how a three-member parliamentary delegation of her party, headed by MP Derek O’Brien, was not allowed to enter Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday to meet the families of the victims of a shootout. The delegation was initially detained at Varanasi airport but was later allowed to meet those injured in the incident.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister alleged that the Central government was trying to foil the Martyr’s Day rally by reducing the number of trains. “I have information that they will run only 30% of the trains usually run on Sundays,” she said. “This is not right.”