New Delhi, March 13: Expressing apprehensions that the ruling TMC government might not allow free-and-fair elections in West Bengal, BJP on Wednesday urged the Election Commission to declare Bengal a "super-sensitive zone. "A high-level delegation of BJP leaders comprising Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Health Minister JP Nadda and others met EC officials here.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Prasad said, ”We have demanded that entire Bengal be declared a super-sensitive zone. We have also handed them (EC) a list of officers whose impartiality is doubtful and urged that they be removed from election duties.” Election Commission Issues Advisory Barring Political Parties From Using Defence Personnel Photos For Campaigning.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after BJP delegation meeting with Election Commission in Delhi today: We have demanded that the state of West Bengal should be declared as super-sensitive state. We've also demanded that central forces should be deployed at all polling booths. pic.twitter.com/PQSp60dIQl
— ANI (@ANI) March 13, 2019
“Around 100 murders took place during Panchayat elections in West Bengal. Officers sit on dharnas along with Chief Minister. The ruling party (BJP) president’s chopper is not allowed to land there,” he added. BJP also demanded the deployment of Central forces on all booths in West Bengal while accusing the West Bengal police of acting as TMC workers.
“Central forces should be deployed on all the booths in West Bengal because Police there functions as the worker of TMC. All deployments should be done in the vigil of central observers,” Prasad said here. He further termed the use of 1986 circular to bar TMC rivals from campaigning as ‘unfortunate’.
“There is 1986 circular according to which loudspeakers cannot be used near educational institutions and religious places. But exams are getting over in March. To use a 1986 circular to bar rivals of the TMC from campaigning is unfortunate,” he said. Prasad further claimed that there is a history of violence (during elections) in Bengal. "Therefore we appealed to the EC to take all steps to ensure a free-and-fair election in West Bengal."
“We have also complained against Rahul Gandhi (to the EC). EC said no one can make unverified allegations under MCC. The way Rahul levelled false, baseless and shameful allegations against the Prime Minister, nothing can be more shameful than it. We have asked EC to take actions against Rahul Gandhi for levelling false allegation,” Prasad said.
Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday announced the schedule for the 17th Lok Sabha election, which will be held in seven phases beginning April 11. The final phase of voting will take place on May 19. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.