Lengthy poll schedule to serve PM’s self-propaganda: Mamata

Banerjee accused the CPI-M of helping the BJP spread its base in West Bengal….reports Asian Lite News

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the Election Commission of India (ECI) of deliberately preparing such a long schedule for the Lok Sabha elections to facilitate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s self-propaganda.

“The current caretaker Prime Minister will become the former prime Prime Minister after the polls. But I am sorry to say, such a long election schedule was prepared to facilitate PM Modi’s self-propaganda over this extended period of time,” the Chief Minister said while addressing an election meeting in the North Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency in support of Trinamool Congress candidate and sitting MP, Sudip Bandopadhyay.

Banerjee also accused the CPI-M of helping the BJP spread its base in West Bengal.

“The CPI-M is helping the BJP to gain strength in West Bengal. This is the only reason why the CPI-M should not be shown any mercy. They are responsible for destroying the state,” the Chief Minister said.

Banerjee also said that although she is not afraid of the ‘slanderous’ campaigns launched against her by the opposition, she is worried about being misunderstood by the people.

“Throughout my life, I have faced abuse. But I am not bothered about those abuses anymore. I will be sad if I am misunderstood by the people. If such a day comes and the people ask me to leave, I will humbly obey and quit silently,” the Chief Minister said.

Campaigning ends

Campaigning for the eight Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal that will go to the polls in the sixth phase on May 25 concluded on Thursday amid reports of pre-poll violence in Nandigram under the Tamluk parliamentary constituency.

The violence erupted there after a woman BJP worker, Rotibala Ari, was killed and seven other party workers were injured following an attack by unknown assailants allegedly having links with the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The incident triggered widespread protests in Nandigram by the local people, who blocked roads and burnt tyres. Several shops were also set on fire in the area, prompting the police to resort to lathi charge to bring the situation under control.

The eight Lok Sabha seats where polling will be held on Saturday include Bankura, Bishnipur, Purulia, Kanti, Tamluk, Medinipur, Ghatal, and Jhargram.

On the last day of campaigning on Thursday, the leader of opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, called Trinamool’s sitting MP who has been renominated from Ghatal, actor-politician Deepak Adhikari a.k.a. Dev, a beneficiary of the alleged cattle smuggling scam in the state.

Dev later countered the charge and warned Adhikari not to take his courtesy towards the opposition as his weakness.

Barring a roadshow and an election meeting by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, there were no high-profile campaign events scheduled in Bengal on Thursday.

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