KOLKATA: In a direct attack on the Election Commission for not clubbing the last three phases of Bengal Assembly elections in the wake of the second Covid wave, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday alleged that it was aimed to give advantage to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While addressing a rally at Jiaganj, Murshidabad, a region dominated by minorities, Mamata said the poll panel did not listen to Trinamool Congress’s request for conducting the last three phases either in one go or in two phases.
She also alleged the BJP was hatching a conspiracy to trigger communal discord in Bengal.
“We requested the Election Commission to reconsider its poll schedule. We requested them to club the last three phases considering the pandemic situation. But the poll panel did not pay any heed to our plea. They decided not to change the schedule of the last three phases. It is to help the BJP and PM Modi so that he could keep visiting the state and address more rallies,’’ Mamata said.
She said her party had already decided not to organise mega rallies in Kolkata.
“We will hold only one rally on April 26 in Kolkata. In districts, I have shortened my speeches while addressing rallies,’’ she said.
Mamata has lambasted the election panel on several occasions in the recent past accusing it of acting at BJP’s behest.
While addressing the rally, Mamata urged the people of the minority-dominated area to be alert as the BJP was “trying to trigger communal discord”.
“The BJP is trying to trigger riots in Bengal. Do not fall in their trap. Be alert and do vote,’’ she said.
In the wake of the second Covid wave, the CPI-M has already announced it would not organise any major rally or road show. It will be more focused on small street corner meetings and using social media platforms to carry out its campaign.
The TMC shot off a letter to Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab on Tuesday, urging him to consider the party’s request amid the steep hike in Covid-19 cases.