West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appears to be fearing the worst for her party in the assembly elections that are underway in the state. Hours after an audio clip went viral that allegedly showed her pleading with a BJP leader in Nandigram for help, she has now taken to complain about Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Bangladesh.
“Elections are underway here and he (PM) goes to Bangladesh and lectures on Bengal. It is a total violation of code of conduct of the election,” Mamata Banerjee said during a rally in Kharagpur.
Elections are underway here and he (PM) goes to Bangladesh and lectures on Bengal. It is a total violation of code of conduct of the election: West Bengal CM & TMC leader Mamata Banerjee in Kharagpur. pic.twitter.com/dallgHZcji— ANI (@ANI) March 27, 2021
Unfortunately for her, however, the model code of conduct does not say anything about the Prime Minister’s official visits abroad. The poll code only says that a candidate cannot campaign in the constituencies from 48 hours before polling begins.
Politicians can campaign for elections in other constituencies where polling will occur in the next phases. Mamata Banerjee herself is campaigning in Kharagpur. Furthermore, Prime Minister’s official visits abroad do not fall under the ambit of campaigning.
Mamata Banerjee appears to be voicing the sentiments of Congress supporter and ‘RTI activist’ Saket Gokhale who had requested the Election Commission to pre-approve the Prime Minister’s speech in Bangladesh.
Saket Gokhale claimed that Orakandi “is a shrine for Matua community that influences about 29 seats in Bengal.” He demanded that the speech Prime Minister Modi is to deliver at Orakandi be broadcast after polling has closed for the phase.
While Saket Gokhale has a reputation of filing such petitions and RTI applications, it is indeed bizarre that the incumbent Chief Minister of West Bengal is airing similar sentiments during polls.