The Shiv Sena on Wednesday alleged that the Election Commission was “biased” against Mamata Banerjee, after the poll panel recently barred the West Bengal chief minister from campaigning for 24 hours over certain remarks made by her. The stature of a constitutional body like the Election Commission (EC) should not be demeaned for political benefits, an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
Assembly elections are currently underway in West Bengal and the Shiv Sena, which is not contesting the polls, has extended its support to Trinamool Congress head Banerjee. “The Election Commission is biased against Mamata Banerjee. It is our request to the EC with folded hands that it should not listen to the BJP alone, but to everyone. It should not be biased,” the Marathi daily said.
Everyone has lost the sense of decorum (during campaign) in West Bengal, but Banerjee alone is being punished for it, the editorial claimed. “The EC has busted the myth of everyone being treated equal before law and it chose the land of West Bengal to do so. It seems to have forgotten that West Bengal is the land of revolutionaries and rebels,” it said.
Mamata Banerjee’s lone battle will be remembered in history, irrespective of the outcome of this election, the editorial said. The EC seems to be really irked with Banerjee for dubbing the model code of conduct as the “Modi code of conduct”, it said
But, the ground reality in West Bengal is concerning as the Centre-deployed CRPF jawans opened fire on a mob instead of controlling the violence, the Sena said. The Centre should take the responsibility for the violence, it said.
“There is no doubt that the reputation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is at stake, but their path to win the state (polls) is against the democracy and freedom of people,” the editorial alleged.
The stature of a constitutional body like the EC should not be demeaned for political benefits, it added. “Why is the EC not noticing that after Modi’s Bangladesh visit, there has been a rise in violence in West Bengal?” the Marathi publication asked.
“Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the reason behind Modi’s visits to the US and Bangladesh was same political benefit,” it said. The editorial also backed Banerjee over her strong criticism of the Centre and BJP leaders who have been making controversial statements during campaigning in West Bengal.+
A video clip of a BJP leader’s appeal to locals to not be afraid of the (West Bengal) state police has gone viral, it said, adding that what happened in Cooch Behar and Sitalkuchi was not different from the leader’s comments.
What wrong did Mamata do if she strongly criticised it? the Sena asked. “The EC has lost its stature and it is surrounded by a fog of suspicion over its role,” the editorial claimed.
It is surprising that BJP leaders, who have allegedly said there would be more incidents like Cooch Behar and Sitalkuchi violence, are not charged with violation of the model code of conduct, the Sena said.