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  India   Politics  09 Apr 2024  Congress, TMC, BJP Teams Meet EC

Congress, TMC, BJP Teams Meet EC

THE ASIAN AGE. | VINEETA PANDEY
Published : Apr 9, 2024, 1:45 am IST
Updated : Apr 9, 2024, 1:45 am IST

The TMC leaders also sat on a dharna outside the poll panel office and were later detained by the Delhi police

A ten-member TMC delegation comprising Derek O'Brien, Mohammed Nadimul Haque, Dola Sen, Saket Gokhale, Sagarika Ghose, Vivek Gupta, Arpita Ghosh, Santanu Sen, Abir Ranjan Biswas and Sudip Raha after meeting with the full bench of Election Commission of India (ECI), in New Delhi, Monday, April 8, 2024. (PTI Photo)
 A ten-member TMC delegation comprising Derek O'Brien, Mohammed Nadimul Haque, Dola Sen, Saket Gokhale, Sagarika Ghose, Vivek Gupta, Arpita Ghosh, Santanu Sen, Abir Ranjan Biswas and Sudip Raha after meeting with the full bench of Election Commission of India (ECI), in New Delhi, Monday, April 8, 2024. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Delegations of the Congress, Trinamul Congress and the BJP met the Election Commission officials separately on Monday with their complaints pertaining to model code of conduct violations. While the Congress moved the poll authority against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Muslim League” remark and accused the Prime Minister of using armed forces in poll campaigns despite the EC banning it, the TMC complained about the “misuse of Central agencies” against Opposition leaders. The TMC leaders also sat on a dharna outside the poll panel office and were later detained by the Delhi police, as they demanded that the chiefs of the CBI, NIA, ED and income-tax department be changed.

The TMC has accused the BJP-led Central government of falsely targeting its cadre through NIA raids, a charge that the Central probe agency has denied.

The BJP, in its complaint, raised the issue of a fake organisation formed in the name of the RSS by Congress workers, through which they are spreading propaganda against it. Its second complaint was against Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, whom the saffron party has accused of spreading “unverified and distorted” allegations against the Central government over the death of Mukhtar Ansari. Mr Yadav had said, “The general public is not considering it a natural death. The Government of India has been accused of similar incidents in Canada and America. Mukhtar Ansari has been a public servant and in democracy he used to share in the suffering of the people.”

The TMC in a statement said, “A 10-member delegation of our party visited the office of the @ECISVEEP in Delhi to raise the glaring issue of @BJP4India’s utter misuse of the NIA to wrongfully intimidate our party workers ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. We shall not tolerate such unconstitutional attempts to harm the sanctity of our democracy and have pledged to stand together to take all necessary steps to put an end to such activities.”

“We asked the poll authority to intervene in the name of parliamentary democracy to preserve the sanctity of the general election. Stop the ED, CBI, NIA and I-T department from acting against the Opposition. They’re working like the 12th man of the BJP,” said another TMC Rajya Sabha member, Sagarika Ghose, who was part of the dharna.

On Monday, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Saket Gokhale questioned if the Centre had taken the Election Commission’s approval before appointing the new NIA director-general and sought a probe by the poll authority into the appointment. He also alleged that the BJP’s “nexus” with the Central agencies is deepening during the Lok Sabha polls.

“The NIA conspiring with the BJP to target our leaders in West Bengal is not only deplorable but also raises fundamental questions on whether free and fair elections are possible,” Mr Gokhale said.

Mr Gokhale alleged that BJP leader Mr Jitendra Tiwari met NIA superintendent of police D.R. Singh on March 26 and, on the same day, Sadanand Date was appointed as the new chief of the Central agency. He and another top TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee claimed Mr Tiwari had met Mr Singh allegedly with a “packet” and during this meeting the BJP leader handed over a list of TMC netas and workers to be targeted.

Mr Gokhale said the new NIA DG was serving as head of the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) until March 26. He had been appointed to that position by BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. Mr Date was appointed NIA DG on March 26.

“Question is, when an officer appointed by and serving under a BJP state government in Maharashtra was suddenly appointed as director-general of the NIA, during the election period, did the Modi government take permission of the Election Commission?” Mr Gokhale said in his post.

“When the DGP of West Bengal was changed three times in 24 hours by the poll panel, how was an officer handpicked by the Maharashtra BJP government appointed as NIA chief without EC approval? How astonishing is the ‘co-incidence’ that the BJP enters into a conspiracy with the NIA in West Bengal on the same day that the new NIA chief is appointed? This must be probed immediately by the poll authority, and the Modi government must explain how a new NIA chief was appointed without EC approval,” he added.

The Congress delegation met with the Election Commission with six complaints, of which two were against the Prime Minister. “This is the time for the Election Commission to demonstrate its independence by ensuring a level playing field for all parties. We live in hope that the hon’ble commission will uphold its constitutional mandate. For our part, we will continue to pursue all avenues, political and legal, to expose this regime,” said Congress MP Jairam Ramesh.

The Congress has complained that Mr Modi made statements on Monday, saying the Congress manifesto is attempting to divide the country and imposing the pre-Independence ideology of the Muslim League. The complaint also accused Mr Modi of using armed forces in election campaigns despite EC banning it. One complaint is on MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar for allegedly giving false information pertaining to his financial status in an election affidavit, and another on showing The Kerala Story on Doordarshan, saying it vilifies a religious community, resulting in communal discord and hampering free and fair elections.
 

Tags: trinamul congress, indian national congress, bharatiya janata party, muslim league
Location: India, Delhi