Lok Sabha elections 2019: PM scared of Bengal, says Mamata Banerjee after EC’s ‘unprecedented’…

“The Election Commission’s decision is unfair, unethical and politically biased,” said a furious Mamata Banerjee as she questioned why the poll panel had waited 24 hours to impose the campaign restrictions. The panel, she said, had given Prime Minister Modi time to finish his two rallies before the campaign ban kicks in tomorrow night.

Mamata Banerjee isn’t the only one pointing fingers at the poll panel for the timing of the campaign restriction. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel made the same point in his tweet attack. “If situation in Bengal is so severe that campaigning must be stopped, why is EC waiting until tomorrow? Is it because PM has scheduled rallies tomorrow?… Isn’t it unprecedented that EC claims it’s an unprecedented situation in West Bengal but yet is waiting for PM to complete his public meetings?,” he tweeted.

Back in Bengal, Banerjee questioned why the election commission had not bothered to issue even a notice to Amit Shah for the violence that erupted during his roadshow. The Trinamool Congress says it had given video evidence to the election commission which establishes that BJP goons had a key role to play in yesterday’s violence and weren’t the victims that Amit Shah had made them out to be at his media briefing earlier in the day.

“This is an unprecedented decision,” she said, alleging that the poll panel was working under the influence of the BJP and Prime Minister Modi, who she said, was scared of the Trinamool and people of Bengal. “Why is Modi so scared? Because Modi knows I’m challenging him, he is scared of me and the Bengal people,” she said.

A bust of renowned Bengal reformer, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, was destroyed and a college named after him ransacked in the troubles late Tuesday, which the BJP and rival Trinamool Congress (TMC) have angrily blamed on each other.

West Bengal state has been hit by repeated violence between the two parties during the six-week-long election that ends Sunday. Results will be announced on May 23.

PM Modi’s party hopes to capture many of the state’s 42 parliament seats from the TMC to compensate for losses predicted in other regions. BJP chief Amit Shah claimed on Wednesday that his party would get at least 23 of the 42 seats.

First Published: May 15, 2019 22:00 IST

Updated: May 15, 2019 — 10:13 pm