Sporadic violence mars second phase polling, Mamata hits out at EC over inaction to complaints

By PTI
NEW DELHI: A BJP delegation Friday met Election Commission officials here and demanded action against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleging she violated elections norms in her Nandigram constituency while votes were being cast during the second phase of polling on Thursday.

The delegation comprised Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, and the party’s national media incharge Anil Baluni.

“For the first time in the country’s history, a chief minister sat on a dharna in a polling booth when polling was on. Before she (Mamata Banerjee) sat on her dharna, 74 per cent votes were polled in Nandigram and the polling was by and large peaceful,” Javadekar told reporters after meeting the EC officials here.

He further alleged as soon as the Trinamool Congress chief sat on the “dharna”, her party workers started pelting stones at the polling booth.

“We have given all proofs including photographs of her misconduct. A chief minister, which is a constitutional post, sitting on a dharna while the polling was on is against democracy and also against the Election Commission’s norms for polling. Therefore, we have demanded urgent action against her from the poll panel,” Javadekar said.

The BJP leader also hit out at both the TMC and the Congress for questioning the credibility of Electronic Voting Machines, saying as soon as these parties sense their defeats, they start looking for something to blame their defeat on.

Later in a tweet, Bhupender Yadav said, “Met poll panel officials with party leaders seeking action against Mamata Banerjee for protesting at a polling booth and provoking TMC workers to disturb peace. Her name must be removed from TMC’s star campaigner list for peaceful polls.”

The BJP has also demanded action against about DMK supremo MK Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi for his “indecent” remarks against late BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.

Udhayanidhi raked controversy by saying that both Jaitley and Swaraj died due to political pressure.

Chief Minister Banerjee on Thursday visited several booths across the high-profile Nandigram constituency, where she is pitted against her protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, as sporadic incidents of violence and allegations of booth jamming marred the voting process in the second phase.

Both Banerjee and Adhikari fanned out to various polling booths in Nandigram to take stock of the situation after reports of stray violence and booth ‘jamming’, a bid by workers of one party to crowd out voters from a polling booth by forming long queues.