'7-phase poll a plan to give BJP campaign advantage': Mamata

The TMC supremo also accused CPM and Congress of bolstering the BJP in the state and urged people not to cast votes for any non-TMC candidate.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing an election rally.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing an election rally. Express.

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged that the Election Commission chalked out seven-phase polls to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues to carry out extensive campaigning using the nation’s resources.

Addressing a public meeting in Malda district, Banerjee said polls have been scheduled from April 19 to June 1 so that Modi and his cabinet colleagues can travel on special planes across the country before every phase to “overwhelm the Opposition.”

“Elections used to be over by May but this year, it has been extended till June 1 so the PM can visit various places on military planes, while we are made to arrange for our own transport, including helicopters, which are also being booked by BJP leaders so that we get little space,” she alleged.

“People are inconvenienced by the scorching heat but Modi is unperturbed as they (BJP leaders) are campaigning in VVIP comfort with all facilities at hand,” she added.

Banerjee alleged that though the Union council of ministers is a caretaker cabinet after the announcement of elections and the EC is in charge of running the administrative machinery, the poll body is “toeing the line dictated by Modi and his party colleagues.”

Attacking the BJP and Congress MPs from West Bengal, Banerjee alleged that none of them took up the state’s cause regarding the release of MGNREGA funds or building houses for the poor under PM Awas Yojana. “Our (TMC) MPs were manhandled and arrested when they went to Delhi in November last year to demand the release of MGNREGA funds,” she said.

Banerjee accused CPM and Congress of bolstering the BJP in the state and urged people not to cast votes for any non-TMC candidate.

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