Slamming the BJP for urging the poll panel to declare West Bengal as a "super sensitive state", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday alleged the saffron party was trying to hide behind central forces as it can't win any seat in the state. Noting that the Election Commission has to take care of all political parties, not just the BJP, Banerjee said the poll panel is a constitutional body and should not be influenced by the canards spread by the BJP.
The BJP has urged the Election Commission to declare West Bengal as a "super sensitive state" to ensure fair Lok Sabha polls and demanded that central forces be deployed at all polling stations in the state. "What is the reason behind demanding that all booths be declared sensitive in the state? This is an insult to the people of Bengal. The BJP can't win a single seat in West Bengal. That is why they are trying to hide behind the central forces," Banerjee told reporters.
Taking a dig at the BJP, she said the party should ask for deploying one paramilitary personnel for every voter, and even then the TMC will emerge victorious in all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. "How are they preparing the list of sensitive booths? Since we are fighting (BJP president) Amit Shah and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, Bengal is being targeted. The Election Commission should act impartially," the Trinamool Congress chief said.
Maintaining that Bengal is the most peaceful state in the country, Banerjee asked whether or not killings in the name of cow vigilance is considered a crime. "What is happening in Uttar Pradesh? How many people have been lynched in the name of gau-raksha? Is it not an example of poor law and order situation?" Soon after the Election Commission Sunday announced seven-phase polling in West Bengal, the opposition parties had claimed it is a reflection of poor law and order situation in the state, while the TMC alleged the central government had "misled" the poll body with wrong input about the situation.
Banerjee said the claims made by the BJP regarding a lapse in the law and order in Bengal are "blatant lies". "Let them declare all the people in Bengal as sensitive. Every year so many festivities take place here. Close to 60 lakh people come here during the Ganga Sagar Mela, crores come during Durga Puja every year, and not a single untoward incident has been recorded," she said.
On the BJP's demand that a media observer is appointed for Bengal, Banerjee alleged that it is the saffron party that is trying to control the media at the national level. "Never ever the TMC has tried to control the media. The media is free and fair in Bengal. The demand for appointing a media observer is actually an insult to the people of the state," she said.
The BJP is spreading fake news in the state and across the country, the chief minister alleged. "The Election Commission must seriously look into the expenditure of the BJP. The party is using photos of the prime minister and the armed forces in political hoardings. We have complained against it," she said.
The BJP is eyeing a number of seats in West Bengal, which has 42 Lok Sabha constituencies. In 2014, the Trinamool Congress won 34 seats, the Congress four, while the BJP and the CPI(M) bagged two seats each in the state.
(With inputs from agencies.)