A day after the Election Commission cut short the election campaign period following a clash between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in West Bengal, DMK chief MK Stalin on Thursday came out in support of the Mamata Banerjee government. Accusing the poll panel of acting on the instructions of the BJP, Stalin said the EC has one set of rules for the opposition and another for the ruling party.
Taking to twitter, the DMK leader said, "Ban on campaign in nine constituencies in West Bengal. The EC has one set of rules for the opposition and another for the ruling party. Highly condemnable".
Coming down heavily on the Saffron Party for vandalising the statue of the 19th-centry social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Stalin further said, "The BJP follows a typical pattern. It vandalised Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in West Bengal".
Ban on campaign in nine constituencies in #WestBengal. The EC has one set of rules for the Opposition and another for the ruling party. Highly condemnable.
The BJP follows a typical pattern. Vandalises Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu and Iswara Chandra Vidyasagar in West Bengal.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 16, 2019
The Election Commission has been receiving wide condemnations from across party lines ever since it had on Wednesday cut short campaigning for the last round of voting in West Bengal, in the wake of violence between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress workers during Amit Shah's roadshow in the state. A bust of Vidyasagar was allegedly vandalised by the BJP workers at Vidyasagar College during the clash on Tuesday.
The campaign closing time has been advanced to Thursday 10 pm in the nine Lok Sabha seats - Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Joynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Calcutta South and Calcutta North.
Accusing the Election Commission of acting on the BJP's behest, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the move was "unethical and unconstitutional". Banerjee also termed the poll body the "brother of BJP" and slammed it for bieng sold to the ruling party.
Addressing a public gathering at West Bengal's Diamond Harbour, Banerjee said, "In last 5 years you (PM) couldn't make a Ram Temple and you want to make Vidyasagar's statue? People of Bengal won't beg before you. Your goonda neta came here and said 'Bangal kangal hai'. Are Bengalis kangal?".
Blamed for vandalising Vidyasagar's statue in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, early in the day, promised to make a grand Panchdhatu statue of the Bengali polymath at the same spot.
So far, elections have taken place to 33 seats in West Bengal while the remaining nine seats will go to polls on May 19. The counting of votes for seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will be taken place on May 23.