New Delhi, May 16: The Election Commission’s decision to cut short poll campaign in Bengal after violence at Amit Shah’s Kolkata rally drew sharp criticism from opposition parties on Thursday. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati accused the poll panel of “acting under pressure” while the Congress said the EC has “lost its independence”.
Mayawati said the poll panel was being “unfair” and the campaign ban was enforced from Thursday night to help PM Modi finish his rallies in Bengal.
“Election Commission has banned campaigning in West Bengal, but from 10 pm today just because PM has two rallies in the day. If they had to ban then why not from today morning? This is unfair and EC is acting under pressure,” Mayawati said.
The BSP chief said PM Modi and Amit Shah were targeting Mamata Banerjee in a “planned manner”. She cautioned that it was a “very dangerous and unjust trend” and one which doesn’t suit the PM of the country.
The Election Commission’s decision to cut short campaigning was a first of its kind and invited allegations of being “politically biased”. The poll panel’s decision came a day after violence at BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow that triggered a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress in Bengal and the BJP.
The Congress said the EC was once known for its objectivity, non-partisan stand but it seems it now “takes orders from BJP headquarters”. “The Election Commission has abdicated its integrity,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Thursday.
Just hours after the poll panel’s move to curtail campaign in Bengal, Trinamool boss Mamata Banerjee said the decision was “unfair and unethical” and gave Prime Minister Modi time to finish his two rallies before the campaign ban kicks in on Thursday night. She also questioned why EC waited 24 hours to impose the campaign restrictions. (Courtesy: HT)