With the West Bengal Assembly elections only scant months away, the political furore in the state continues to grow. There have been allegations and counter-allegations, defections and fights for quite some time. Now, the ruling Trinamool Congress claims that the BJP is trying to use members of the Indian Armed Forces to persuade voters. Incidentally, this claim has been rejected by officials.
TMC leader and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim on Thursday met with representatives of the Election Commission claiming that the BJP was sending the Border Security Force (BSF) to villages along the state border and 'terrorising people' in a bid to solicit votes. Speaking to news agency ANI after the meeting with EC officials, he said that the organisation had said that it would look into the allegation.
As one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces of India, the governing body of the BSF is the Ministry of Home Affairs. The BSF however reiterated in a statement on Thursday that it was "apolitical".
It has been a challenging few weeks for the TMC-led Bengal administration. While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staunchly maintains that the party will come to power once again, multiple defections have shaken the party. In the last month or so, numerous senior TMC leaders including Suvendu Adhikari and Arindam Bhattacharya join the BJP.
The tenure of the current administration will end on May 30. With all parties insisting vociferously that they will have a successful run, it appears likely to be a closely fought election.
(With inputs from agencies)