Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 7 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged the Election Commission (EC) to take action against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for violating the Model Code of Conduct after the declaration of by-poll dates.
A West Bengal BJP delegation including state vice president Pratap Banerjee, party leader Shishir Bajoria and Balurghat MP Sukanta Majumdar visited the EC office in Kolkata.
"We urge EC to take action against Bhabanipur candidate Mamata Banerjee including restraining her from participating in ensuing by-polls for violating Model Code of Conduct by announcing cash rewards for Durga Puja clubs despite the declaration of by-polls date," the BJP delegation said.
The BJP delegation also handed over a letter to Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal in this regard.
"We draw your attention to the program organised by the West Bengal Government in the Netaji Indoor Stadium addressed by the unelected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Chief Secretary. In this program, the Durga Puja organising clubs were invited wherein cash donation and other facilities by the state government were announced for 36,000 clubs in the State including 2,500 clubs in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area," reads BJP's letter to EC.
"Very clearly this has been done with only one objective to influence these clubs who play an important role in the electoral process and give an undue advantage to the unelected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is already declared, AITC candidate for the ensuing by-election. Considering this serious violation of the MCC by the state government, the Bharatiya Janata Party calls upon the Election Commission of India to take appropriate steps against the AITC candidate including restraining her from participating in the ensuing by-election," it adds.
The development came after the West Bengal government on Tuesday announced that Rs 50,000 financial assistance will be granted to every puja committee in the state.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday made an official announcement that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest from the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency. Further, TMC leaders Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam are made party's candidates from Jangipur and Samserganj seats respectively.
This came after Election Commission on Saturday announced to hold by-elections to three assembly seats in West Bengal on September 30. The counting of votes will take place on October 3.
Notably, Mamata Banerjee was defeated by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram assembly constituency.
Following this, the Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for the West Bengal Chief Minister to contest from the seat.
Winning the seat is crucial for Banerjee if she has to remain the chief minister of the state.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats. (ANI)