Millennium Post (Kolkata)

EC bans Rahul Sinha for 48 hrs, show-causes Dilip Ghosh

Suvendu Adhikari let off with a soft rap for ‘mini-Pak’ remark


KOLKATA: While the Election Commission (EC) barred Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee from campaignin­g for 24 hours, it let off BJP candidate from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari — who is pitted against her — with a light rap for his “miniPakist­an” remark made at a public meeting on March 29.

Adhikari had referred to one ‘Begum’ (a veiled dig at Mamata Banerjee), telling the rally that voting for his political opponent implies voting for a “mini Pakistan”.

The Commission on Tuesday also issued a show-cause notice to BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, asking him to clarify his stance on his recent provocativ­e statement over the death of four men due to Central forces’ firing at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of elections on April 10. The poll panel also barred BJP leader Rahul Sinha from campaignin­g for 48 hours for his statements on the same issue.

The ECI has also advised Suvendu Adhikari to desist from using similar statements while making public utterances when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in place.

The ECI believes that Ghosh’s provocativ­e statements had violated the MCC and could incite the sentiments of people, leading to the breakdown of law and order and thereby adversely affecting the election process. Ghosh has been directed to explain his stand by 10 am on Wednesday, failing which the Commission shall take a decision without further reference to him.

The BJP state president during an election campaign at Baranagar in North 24-Parganas had said more Cooch Behar-like killings might happen in the next phase of the state Assembly elections if “naughty boys like the ones who died in Sitalkuchi” try to take the law into their hands.

The Commission has taken a stern stand against Sinha and his 48 hours ban will be effective from 12 pm on Tuesday till noon on April 15. Sinha is the BJP nominee from the Habra seat in North 24-Parganas, which is bound for elections during the sixth phase on April 22. The ECI stated that Sinha made “highly provocativ­e statements mocking the human life, inciting the forces that could have serious law and order implicatio­ns, thereby adversely affecting the election process.”

An authentica­ted transcript of the statement made by Sinha can be read as “the Central forces have given them a befitting answer. If they do it again, they will be dealt again in a befitting manner. The Central forces should have killed eight persons instead of four in Sitalkuchi. The Central forces should be issued a show-cause notice as to why they have killed only four of them,” Sinha had said.

The Election Commission on Tuesday also issued a show-cause notice to Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal for his statement ‘Bhayankar Khela Hobe' (dangerous game will be played) in a number of political meetings for

the last few days. The Commission has asked Mondal to reply to the notice by 11 pm on Tuesday clearly explaining his stand in making such a statement.

The BJP district leadership had complained to the District Election Officer (DEO) that Mondal is intimidati­ng voters by making such comments. The matter was reported to the Commission and it issued the show-cause notice.

Mondal when asked to elaborate on his remark during a recent interview had said TMC will be a tough contender to be beaten in this game. “The main issue is imparting training so that the player can judge balls and hit 4, 6 or even take 2 runs. The players will learn how to remain not out so there will be no problem. The Election Commission will act as the umpire and those who will sustain injuries will be admitted to the hospital,” he had said.

Senior Trinamool Congress leader Sobhandeb Chattopadh­yay termed the move of the EC as a mere eyewash.

“Banning Rahul Sinha is politicall­y insignific­ant as he had lost 11 times contesting in elections. Who is Dilip Ghosh? Everything in BJP is done by Delhi. Does the EC consider what their Delhi leaders are saying?” he added.

for 24 hours, it let BJP's Nandigram candidate Suvendu Adhikari go just by giving a warning over his speech in which he had stated that voting for his opponent implies voting for “mini Pakistan” and also referring to one “Begam”, without naming Banerjee. Trinamool claimed that ECI censoring Suvendu was nothing but one sightednes­s of the poll panel. TMC workers extended their full support to Banerjee by standing outside the barricaded area for three long hours as a mark of solidarity with their chief. “If Bengal has one face, it is hers. If Bengal has one voice it is hers. Here's saluting @MamataOffi­cial's indomitabl­e spirit. Fighting for your rights, yesterday, today & tomorrow! #BlackDayFo­rDemocracy,” tweeted Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien.

Interestin­gly, none of the workers was carrying the party's flag or banner. Even, they had not put on caps and batches carrying the party's logo. No party leaders were even allowed at her protest site as she sat alone. Several party leaders, including Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Gautam Deb and Nusrat Jahan took to Twitter to recollect Banerjee's 26-day dharna in 2006 for farmers' rights. TMC had also informed the Eastern Command of the Indian

Army about Banerjee's sit-indemonstr­ation at Gandhi Statue.

Santosh Ghosh, a youth TMC worker, said: “We are with Didi. We will never leave her alone in her fight. All these undemocrat­ic

moves to stop us would get a befitting democratic reply on May 2.”

Echoing Banerjee's claim that the ECI's move is “undemocrat­ic” and extending solidarity with the “Bengal Tigress”, both Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders who are also supporting TMC in the ensuing Assembly election — trained guns at BJP.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut tweeted: “ECI has imposed a ban on Mamta didi for 24 hours. This is clearly done at the behest of

BJP, the ruling party in India. It is a direct attack on the democracy and sovereignt­y of independen­t institutio­ns of India. Solidarity with Bengal Tigress, @ MamataOffi­cial.”

“Ban on MB reflects hopelessne­ss of BJP in Bengal election. It symbolises that BJP is losing. SP extends support to Banerjee's sitin demonstrat­ion. We are hopeful that the ECI will also impose a ban on those who attempt to divide people on the basis of religion by giving statements on crematoriu­m and burial grounds,” tweeted SP chief, Akhilesh Yadav, along with a photograph of Banerjee's protest.

Intellectu­als including

Kabir Suman, Suvaprasan­na,

Jogen Chowdhury, Haranath Chakrabort­y, Saikat Mitra and Soumitra Roy turned up at the protest venue to extend their support. “The way ECI has imposed a ban on the Chief Minister of a state from campaignin­g for elections is uncalled for. The way the Central forces are firing on innocent

people, I feel it is essential to build a protest. So, I have come here,” said Kabir Suman.

The ban on Banerjee's campaign was imposed from 8 pm on Monday to 8 pm on Tuesday. After it was lifted, Banerjee held two back-to-back rallies at Barasat and Bidhannaga­r. On Wednesday, Banerjee is scheduled to hold five public meetings in Jalpaiguri and Matigara-Naxalbari Assembly constituen­cy in the plains of Darjeeling district after visiting Mathabhang­a Hospital in Cooch Behar where she will be speaking to family members of those injured in the Sitalkuchi incident, she will also be holding a public meeting at Haringhata in Nadia in the evening.

and are the most vulnerable and are denied access to health and proper nutrition, quality education and skills and knowledge they need to thrive and spend their lives in makeshift, unfriendly, unhygienic and testing conditions.

“The pandemic is having a discrimina­tory impact on migrant children and has aggravated their vulnerabil­ities. Migrant children will be denied their fundamenta­l rights to education, health and nutrition if the matter is not heard and appropriat­e orders passed by this Court,” the plea said.

It has sought directions to map, enumerate and register the number of infants and children of migrant families at various worksites and centres of concentrat­ion of migrant families with the help of local authoritie­s at the Panchayat and ward offices through frontline workers.

Monday, active cases remained at 26,531.

Ten states — Maharashtr­a, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisga­rh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Kerala have shown a rise in the COVID-19 daily cases accounting for 80.80 per cent of the new infections reported in a day, the ministry said on Tuesday.

India's daily new cases continue to rise. A total of 1,61,736 new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours.

In a landmark achievemen­t, the country's vaccinatio­n coverage crossed 11 crore doses on Tuesday till 8 pm. As per the Health ministry's provisiona­l report, in a single day, 25,00,883 vaccine doses were given till 8 pm on the 88th day of the nationwide drive.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtr­a government on Tuesday announced a 15-day long statewide curfew from April 14 amid the spike in Covid cases in the state. The curfew, which excludes essential services, will come into effect from 8 pm on Wednesday. Section 144 (prohibitor­y orders) of the Criminal Procedure Code will be in force till the “lockdownli­ke” restrictio­ns are in place,

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said.

There is a shortage of medical oxygen and beds and the demand for Remdesivir has increased in Maharashtr­a, he said, adding the Centre should help supply oxygen for Coronaviru­s patients in the state by using Air Force planes.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India