Union Minister Bhupender Yadav and other BJP leaders on Tuesday met with the Election Commission in connection with the crucial bypoll in West Bengal's Bhabanipur. The delegation sought a series of measures to ensure free and fair elections as it accused the Trinamool Congress of using violence against its supporters.
"We met EC and told them that polls and violence are synonyms to each other in West Bengal. It seems that Didi and her workers have more faith in violence than polls. Attack on Dilip Ghosh shows that TMC and Bengal government consider violence to be democracy. We demand action," Yadav said.
The BJP urged the EC to impose Section 144, a prohibitory order against gathering of five or more persons, on September 30, the polling date, and deployment of central forces for its compliance. It has also sought deployment of at least 40 companies of central armed police forces in Bhabanipur to ensure that every booth is covered by them. Local state police or home guards should not be given any poll duty, the delegation said.
A day earlier, the BJP's West Bengal unit had written a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of the state over alleged attacks on the party's national vice president Dilip Ghosh and MP Arjun Singh. In the letter, the party blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress (AITC) for the incidents and said, "on each occasion, Kolkata Police either took no action or acted along with the attackers."
Ghosh alleged that he was attacked and abused by TMC workers while campaigning for the Bhabanipur by-poll. He also alleged that one of the BJP workers who was accompanying him during campaigning was also beaten up. "I was also attacked. My security tried to stop it and they took out their guns to scare the attackers. Arjun Singh was also surrounded and he was forced to leave the area amid 'go back' slogans. Local police didn't help," Ghosh said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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