Gulf Today

BJP, TMC spar over CM’S purported audio clip

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KOLKATA: On the day of the fith phase of Assembly elections in West Bengal, a purported audio clip of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee released by the IT cell of the BJP triggered a major war of words with both the Trinamool Congress and the saffron party appealing to the Election Commission to take action against the other.

While the BJP claimed that Banerjee is trying to polarise the voters, the ruling Trinamool accused the saffron brigade of intruding into people’s right to privacy by tapping the phone of the Chief Minister.

The alleged audio tape released by BJP’S national IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya had a conversati­on between the Chief Minister and the Trinamool candidate from Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar, Partha Pratim Ray, where a female voice, purportedl­y that of Banerjee, could be heard asking “Partha” to “keep the bodies so that the party could hold a rally with the dead.”

The voice is then heard asking “the Trinamool candidate” “to tell the families “not to take the bodies home.”

The tape also has the female voice asking the second person to “consult a lawyer and draw up an FIR” so that the “Commandant, IC, SP... could be transferre­d.”

“Who were killed in the firing?” the female voice could also be heard saying.

The voice on the other end responds: “Didi, they are our men.” The next question was: “Did the CRPF open fire?” It then goes on to add: “I will ensure they are all arrested. Keep your cool.

“They are trying to divert your atention. Tell people that they are doing all these to prevent them from voting. They will conduct NPR, set up detention camps.”

The Trinamool did not deny the veracity of the tape and, instead, played it out during a press conference (ater the BJP media briefing releasing the tape).

“Does the BJP acknowledg­e that even the Chief Minister of a state is under telephone surveillan­ce,” Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy asked.

Meanwhile, Banerjee said at an election rally on Saturday that “she will find out about everyone involved in tapping her phone” and order a CBI probe.

BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, who led a delegation to state Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Atab against the Chief Minister’s purported conversati­on, said, “We didn’t tap the Chief Minister’s tape.

 ?? Agence France-presse ?? ↑
A child attends an online class as he accompanie­s his parents and grandparen­ts to a polling station in Siliguri on Saturday.
Agence France-presse ↑ A child attends an online class as he accompanie­s his parents and grandparen­ts to a polling station in Siliguri on Saturday.

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