Mayawati comes out in support of Mamata, says Election Commission acting under pressure

The EC on Wednesday ordered campaigning in 9 West Bengal constituencies to end at 10pm on Thursday

By PTI in Lucknow
  • Published 16.05.19, 12:14 PM
  • Updated 16.05.19, 12:14 PM
  • a min read
  •  
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a protest rally against the clashes that broke out during BJP President Amit Shah's election roadshow for Lok Sabha polls, in Calcutta, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (PTI)

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Thursday charged that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is being targeted as part of a conspiracy to divert attention from failures of the Modi government.

It is now clear that under the present Chief Election Commissioner, Lok Sabha polls are not being held in a totally free and fair manner, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister told reporters here.

The Election Commission curtailed campaigning in West Bengal under pressure of central government, she further charged.

The Election Commission on Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10pm on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and TMC workers in Calcutta.

Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar had said that it was for the first time that such an action has been taken using constitutional powers of the poll panel.

The EC's action came after parts of Calcutta witnessed widespread violence during BJP president Amit Shah's massive road show in the city. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar was also vandalised during the violence.

The order said it has been brought to the notice of the Commission that there have been growing incidents of disruption and violence during the political campaigns and processions in West Bengal during the ongoing elections.

The EC invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election on May 19.

The constituencies where campaigning has been curtailed are - Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar.