KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her discontent over the Election Commission's decision on eight-phase polls in the state. She accused the Centre of controlling the schedule.
"I respect ECI’s decision. I have information from my sources that poll dates are similar to the ones BJP wanted. It is to help whom? Is it to satisfy Modi and Shah? The PM and the Home Minister cannot misuse their power for the state elections," Mamata alleged shortly after the ECI announced the poll schedule.
The Bengal CM raised question on dividing the Assembly constituencies located in a same district and conducting polls there in different phases. "Why there are break-ups in the districts? South 24 Parganas is our stronghold. Voting there will be held in three different phases," she said.
Expressing her confidence to retain Bengal, Mamata said, "We are common people. We will fight our battle. We request the EC to stop the misuse of the money. I am the daughter of Bengal. I know the state better than BJP. I will win the election even after the poll will be conducted in eight phases."
Mamata, on several occasions, hit out the saffron camp accusing it of spreading money and bribing electorates to cast their votes in favour of the party.
CPI(M) politburo member Mohammad Salim said the eight-phase schedule in Bengal would facilitate the BJP. "The deployment of central force is an eyewash. Despite the presence of heavy deployment of central forces, large-scale violence took place during the previous elections," he said.
BJP’s state general secretary Shamik Bhattacharya said the party is all set to participate in the upcoming elections. "Those questioning the ECI’s decision of conducting the poll in eight phases are actually scared of their defeat," he said.