West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today claimed that supporters of the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), may be entering the state disguised as central security personnel in order to influence voting in the Lok Sabha elections.
"I do not disrespect central forces, but they are being instructed to intimidate voters here. In fact, I think some of the central forces personnel being sent here are actually RSS activists in disguise," news agency PTI quoted the Trinamool Congress chief as saying at a rally in South 24 Parganas district's Basanti area.
Mamata Banerjee was scathing in her criticism of central forces personnel, who are now manning all polling booths in the state in keeping with an Election Commission directive. "They are asking people to vote in favour fo the saffron party. How can they do that? Is it the central forces' job to ensure that BJP gets votes? A few retired officers are being used by the Modi government to conduct polling here, and they are doing whatever they feel like," she said.
The Chief Minister said that central personnel should keep in mind that political power is fleeting. "You should be ashamed of doing this (asking people to vote for Modi)... You are here to do a job. You are
under Modi today, but you will be under somebody else tomorrow. What will you do then?" PTI quoted her as asking.
Mamata Banerjee also alleged that a Trinamool Congress worker was injured in firing by central forces in charge of BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh's security in Ghatal constituency during polling in the sixth phase of the elections earlier today. "I have heard that one of my brothers, belonging to the minority community, was injured," she said.
Eight West Bengal constituencies voted as part of the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections today. Around 770 companies of central security forces were deployed to ensure free-and-fair elections after the state BJP alleged that the state police was "biased" towards the Mamata Banerjee government.
(With inputs from PTI)