KOLKATA: A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met the Chief Electoral Officer in Kolkata requesting the Commission to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for probing the purported audiotape of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in which she can be heard telling the TMC candidate from the Sitalkuchi constituency to hold protests with bodies of the four killed in Cooch Behar violence.
"As far as the authenticity of the tape is concerned, Derek O'Brien and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy confirmed it in a conversation with the media. The only goal of the tape was to create further polarisation," BJP leader Shishir Bajoria told mediapersons after meeting Election Commission officials in Kolkata.
"It is requested that the Commission may examine the issue immediately and constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for carrying out a detailed investigation in this regard," reads the BJP's letter to EC.
Just a day before the fifth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls, the BJP on Friday released an audiotape, in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee can be purportedly heard telling the TMC candidate from the Sitalkuchi constituency Partha Pratim Ray to hold protests with bodies of the four killed in firing by security forces in the fourth phase polling on April 10.
Violence erupted at a polling booth in Cooch Behar during the fourth round of polling on April 10. The ruling TMC alleged that central forces opened fire twice at polling booths in Cooch Behar where people are casting their votes, killing four people.
Following the incident, the EC ordered the adjournment of the poll in PS 126 of Sitalkurchi AC, Cooch Behar based on an interim report from Special Observers. Since the incident, the Election Commission has barred the entry of any political leader in the Cooch Behar district for the next 72 hours.
Voting for the fifth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls began at 7 am on Saturday amid tight security.
Polling is underway in a total of 45 constituencies covering the districts of Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and a segment of Nadia, North 24 Parganas, and Purba Bardhaman in the fifth phase. A total of 319 candidates, including 39 women are in the fray in Phase-V.
There are 15,789 polling stations designated for this phase. The security for this phase has been beefed up with the deployment of 1,071 companies of central forces for ensuring a peaceful election.
The voting for the sixth phase will be held on April 22.