Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said that a high-level BJP delegation met with the Election Commission of India and asked it to declare West Bengal a “super sensitive” state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and investigate Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for violating the Model Code of Conduct. The Election Commission on Sunday announced the dates for the upcoming general elections and also said that the Model Code of Conduct is “now in effect”.
Addressing the media after the meeting with the EC, Prasad said, “We conveyed to the commission that West Bengal’s track record in free and fair elections is deplorable. We put forth the party’s observation that hundreds were killed in the local body elections in the state.”
Apart from Prasad, the BJP leaders meeting with the EC included leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya, Mukul Roy, JP Nadda, Nirmala Sitharaman. Slamming Trinamool Congress’ rule in West Bengal, Prasad said, “This is a state where ballot papers were stamped even during counting, and victorious candidates were not allowed to enter the state. Where officers sit in dharnas with the chief minister of the state. Where the president of the ruling party, Amit Shah, was not allowed to land his helicopter. Other chief ministers’ helicopters are also not allowed to land,” he added.
Alleging that there is freedom of expression for media in Bengal, Prasad said that the delegation has asked Election Commission to appoint a media observer at every polling booth in West Bengal.
The BJP delegation told the Election Commission that Rahul violated the Model Code of Conduct by making unverified claims against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The model code of conduct clearly states that one cannot make unverified allegations against any political leader. But Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday in Ahmedabad made a scurrilous, shameful and false allegation against the prime minister about ‘picking money out of the air force’s pockets and put it in the pockets of certain industrialists.'”
He said that Rahul’s comments were clearly in violation of the code of conduct, which is already in effect. In addition, the BJP delegation also asked that central forces be deployed at every polling booth, because “many civil personnel are deeply biased towards Congress and the ruling party.”
“We have submitted names of such officers, and we have asked the EC to withdraw them from the election work.” He later said that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s name has also been included in the list submitted to the EC.