Mamata Banerjee Slams 8-Phase Bengal Polls: ‘Is It On PM’s Suggestion?’
Kolkata: Shortly after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced that assembly elections in West Bengal will be conducted in eight phases, chief minister Mamata Banerjee saw a “conspiracy” against the state.
“Are Bengal poll dates announced as per suggestions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah?” Mamata questioned.
If assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry can be held in a single phase, and in Assam over three days, why does West Bengal need eight phases, argued the chief minister.
The first phase in Bengal will be held on March 27 and the final phase on April 29 – spread over a record 33 days. The 2016 assembly polls and 2019 general elections in the state were conducted in seven phases.
Accusing BJP of dictating the poll schedule, Mamata said: “I came to know from BJP party sources… Their suggestions and your dates are the same. Why election in half of some districts on one day and half on other days? Is this on the advice of Modi and Shah… So that they can come and campaign here after they finish with Assam? This is a khela (sport). We will still beat you hands down because we are from the grassroots,” the CM thundered.
“I am the daughter of Bengal, I know the state better than the BJP… we will win in all eight phases. I will defeat all your conspiracies… people of Bengal will answer this insult,” Mamata said, accusing the BJP of targeting the only woman chief minister in the country.
The other political parties welcome the ECI’s decision of eight-phase polls in West Bengal.