KOLKATA: Welcoming the Madras High Court’s observation that the Election Commission is the “the most irresponsible institution” for the alleged spread of the second wave of coronavirus in the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday once again hit out at the panel for deploying around two lakh central forces personnel in the state for over a month without conducting their Covid-19 tests.
She also held the central forces, which were brought from other states, responsible for spreading infection in Bengal.‘’I welcome the Madras High Court observation... The commission has deployed around two lakh central force personnel and none of them went through the RT-PCR test. They are roaming from one place to another and spreading virus in the state,’’ alleged Banerjee.
She also demanded immediate withdrawal of the central forces from West Bengal. ‘’Do we need such a huge volume of police personnel from outside the state to conduct the polls? Why can’t the panel trust the state police force?’’ she asked.
The CM also lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly spreading the virus by bringing in his supporters from other states for his election rallies.‘’The commission is nothing but a mirror of the BJP. He (Modi) addressed several rallies where Covid safety protocols were flouted. The BJP brought a countless number of outsiders during the poll campaign that led to the Covid surge,’’ she said.
The Trinamool Congress supremo said her party had repeatedly requested to club the last three phases of the polling for the safety of the common man. “The elections were over in other states within three phases. What prompted them to conduct the elections in Bengal in eight phases? Despite our several requests, the panel didn’t pay any heed to them. It has become a parrot and a mynah of the BJP,” she alleged.
Banerjee also castigated the Election Commission’s decision to ban roadshows and public rallies with more than 500 people. “The decision was taken on the same day when Modi cancelled his four public rallies on April 23,” she said.
‘What was the need for 8-phase elections?’
Mamata said the elections were over in other states within three phases. “What prompted them to conduct the polls in Bengal in eight phases? It has become a parrot and a mynah of the BJP,” she alleged.