BJP Accuses Mamata Banerjee Of Violating Covid Norms During Campaigning

In a letter to Election Commission, Sajal Ghosh, the chief election agent of BJP candidate for the constituency, Priyanka Tibrewal, claimed that Mamata Banerjee, during a visit to a Gurudwara on Wednesday, was accompanied by a large number of supporters in violation of norms.

BJP Accuses Mamata Banerjee Of Violating Covid Norms During Campaigning

Mamata Banerjee is contesting from Bhabanipur where by-election will be held on September 30. (File)

Kolkata:

The BJP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission on Thursday alleging that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had violated COVID-19 norms set by the EC while campaigning for the September 30 Bhabanipur by-poll.

Sajal Ghosh, the chief election agent of Priyanka Tibrewal, the saffron party's candidate for the constituency, wrote to the EC saying that Ms Banerjee during her visit to a gurudwara in the constituency on Wednesday was accompanied by a large number of supporters violating the COVID-19 norms.

"On September 15 the TMC candidate violated the COVID-19 guidelines and the model code of conduct while visiting the Bhabanipur gurudwara," Mr Ghosh said in his letter to the returning officer for the seat.

"She visited the gurudwara with a huge number of people following her with flags and vehicles exceeding the rules and regulations set by the ECI. Her supporters were seen flouting COVID norms by not wearing masks nor using sanitisers," he said.

Mr Ghosh alleged that the TMC supremo "bribed" the voters by her offerings at the gurdwara and the assembly of people blocked the thoroughfare and movement of normal traffic.

No step was taken to disperse the crowd as there was possibility of law and order breakdown if it was taken, the BJP complaint said.

The saffron party also demanded removal of the officers-in-charge of Alipore police station and Bhabanipore police station for "acting at the behest of a political party."

In another letter to the EC, Mr Ghosh said on behalf of Tibrewal that plainclothes policemen were deployed at each meeting and campaign of the BJP to keep track and they were sending pictures.

He urged it to summon the Kolkata Police commissioner or the concerned officer in charge of Bhabanipur constituency and asked for deployment of only uniformed policemen.

When contacted, TMC spokesman Kunal Ghosh refused to give any importance to BJP's allegations. He told PTI "Sajal Ghosh is the trainee election agent of the BJP candidate. He is now trying to raise his point in the party.

"There is little point in responding to these baseless charges made by Sajal Ghosh," he added.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that the party will honour and follow all protocols while campaigning for the upcoming by-poll in the state.

He told a news conference in Kolkata that BJP is organising programmes maintaining all the protocols.

The TMC will try to thwart all the efforts of BJP to campaign and the police will have to be vigilant to see that the ruling party is observing the COVID protocol, he said.

The BJP did not want the by-poll to be held in view of the pandemic.

"But we will have follow the ECI announcement," he said.

Referring to the coal and cattle scams, Ghosh said "We want that the CBI probe be taken to its logical conclusion and it will be good for the society".

He also criticised the TMC government for not sending data to National Crime Records Bureau "for which the pictures of atrocities on women and child are not properly captured".

"We have told the concerned authorities about the torture inflicted by TMC on women activists of BJP during post-poll violence. CBI will go into every aspect of our complaints while probing," the saffron party leader added.