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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Election Commission showcauses TMC MLA Hamidul Rahaman for ‘threat’ speech

'The central forces will not be there after polls. But our forces will be there. If somebody doesn’t vote Trinamool and later faces any problem and comes to me, I will not intervene. It is better that people don’t waste their votes and support us,' Rahaman said

Koushik Sen Raiganj Published 25.04.24, 11:42 AM
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Representational image File picture

The Election Commission has showcaused Trinamool Congress MLA Hamidul Rahaman for allegedly intimidating voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

He is the MLA of Chopra which is in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha segment.

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Addressing a public meeting in support of Darjeeling Trinamool candidate Gopal Lama on April 17, Rahaman had said: “The central forces will not be there after polls. But our forces will be there. If somebody doesn’t vote Trinamool and later faces any problem and comes to me, I will not intervene. It is better that people don’t waste their votes and support us.”

In Chopra, violence had broken out before the panchayat elections last year. Bullets were fired and bombs were lobbed at CPM candidates and workers when they took out a march to submit their nominations.

A CPM worker died in the firing.

After the video of Rahman’s speech circulated, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari filed a complaint with the EC.

“Trinamool will definitely lose the seat. That is why the MLA has resorted to intimidation. Let us make it clear that like the panchayat elections, we will not let the TMC loot votes this time,” said Basudeb Sarkar, the North Dinajpur district BJP president.

The EC issued the showcause on Tuesday and the MLA was asked to reply by 5pm on Thursday.

In his speech, Rahaman had also said Trinamool leaders would have to ensure that in every booth, the party got 90 per cent of the votes polled. “Or else, panchayat members concerned will face action,” he had said. Rahaman could not be contacted by this newspaper for his reaction to the showcause. Phone calls to him went unanswered.

District Trinamool chief Kanaialal Agarwala said the BJP had misinterpreted the MLA’s comments. “What he meant was that even though central forces would leave after the elections, our party workers would be with people. He has not intimidated voters. The BJP is trying to twist his speech and has filed a complaint with the EC. The MLA will reply to the showcase,” said Agarwala.

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