The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday approached the Election Commission seeking action against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a day after a polling booth in Nandigram constituency witnessed chaos in her presence, the Hindustan Times reported.
On Thursday, supporters of the BJP and Trinamool Congress clashed at Boyal area of Nandigram while the chief minister was visiting a booth after receiving reports of rigging by the saffron party. Banerjee had to stay inside the polling booth for more than two hours as the two groups clashed and was later escorted out by the police and central forces.
However on Friday, a BJP delegation comprising Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi met the Election Commission officials in Delhi on the incident and claimed that voting was going on peacefully in the booth before Banerjee reached there.
“When Mamata Banerjee was there, already 74% polling was done, and it was peaceful,” Javadekar told reporters, according to the Hindustan Times. “We have submitted photos with our complaints and urged the commission to look into the issue. For the first time, the country saw a polling booth where the chief minister of the state was sitting on a dharna.”
The BJP leader also accused Banerjee of holding press conferences from the booth, while her supporters were pelting stones from outside. After voting concluded on Thursday, the BJP candidate contesting against Banerjee in Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari had also accused her of doing “drama” and stalling the polling process for two hours.
However, the Election Commission had said on Thursday that an official who was sent to the Boyal booth on the basis of media coverage, said in his report that polling was not disrupted at any moment. The poll body also said that a separate complaint filed on the matter by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had been forwarded to the special general observer and special police observer. Their report was supposed to be submitted to the EC by 6 pm on Friday.
Earlier on Friday morning, a delegation of the West Bengal unit of the BJP had met the state election commission, asking it to debar Banerjee from conducting any more election rallies, reported the Hindustan Times. Citing a video of the chief minister’s rally in Goghat town, the BJP accused her of threatening its workers.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress on Friday blamed the EC and central forces for not being able to control incidents of violence during polling, ANI reported. “We condemn the violence by central forces on the people of West Bengal,” party MP Saugata Roy said. “If Election Commission can’t control the situation then we will have to start a movement.”