Central forces influencing Bengal voters towards BJP: Mamata

Arambag: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused Central forces personnel of influencing voters to cast their vote in favour of the BJP and said her Trinamool Congress party haa lodged an “official complaint” with the Election Commission (EC) against the offenders.

“Today I have got news that in Malda South constituency’s Englishbazar, the Central force personnel entered polling booths number 166 and 167 and influenceed the voters to vote for BJP,” Banerjee said at an election rally here in Hoogly district.

“They have no rights to this. We have lodged an official complaint against them,” she said.

“Why will they do it? Is it their duty to do it? Police cannot enter inside the polling booths without the permission of the returning officer. We have received the same complaint from Itahar (in Balurghat) as well. They are asking people standing in the queues to vote for BJP,” she alleged.

Malda South and Balughat are two of the five Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal where polling underway on Tuesday.

Noting that she loves both the Central forces and the state police force, Banerjee urged them to stick to their duty of maintaining law and order and not try to influence the elections.

“The Central force may come during the elections. They will come for a day, conduct elections and go back. State police guide them and help them out. I love both the forces. I do not differentiate between them,” she said.

“I would request you and the state police to do your job. You are our guest and friend. If we form government at the Centre, you will work with me. Modi ji will not be there.”

Banerjee claimed that the Centre has directed the EC to send maximum number of Central forces in Bengal as they have “a grudge” against her and her party, and alleged that the states ruled by the BJP do not have such heavy deployment.

“I can challenge and say that there has been no election in Tripura. All the votes were rigged. Tell me in the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam where your government is in power, how many companies of Central force have been deployed and how many officers have been changed?” she asked.

“Why is everything in Bengal? They have so much grudge against Bengal because I talk against them. Bengal will give them the real fight. Trinamool will capture Delhi in the coming days,” Banerjee added.