Congress President Rahul Gandhi has extended his support to West Bengali Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her criticism of the Election Commission on Tuesday’s violence in Kolkata. Banerjee had held an extraordinary press conference on Wednesday night to accuse the national poll body of working at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She also alleged that RSS men had infiltrated the Election Commission.
Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter’s editor-in-chief, Rifat Jawaid, the Congress president said that he agreed with Banerjee. Gandhi said, “I think there’s some truth in what she’s saying. I think RSS men have systematically penetrated pretty much in every Indian institution.”
When asked why he had decided to not issue any statement on the Tuesday night’s violence and the subsequent step taken by the Election Commission, Gandhi said, “No, my reaction is very clear. I just told you. I think what’s happening in Bengal is absolutely wrong. I think the EC is not being fair. For instance, Mr Narendra Modi is allowed to campaign and after his rally, there’s a ban on campaigning? That’s just unfair. “
Gandhi said that despite the Election Commission’s help, the BJP was unlikely to improve its performance in this year’s elections. He said, “Mr Narendra Modi is not going to win the election. He’s going to be decimated. He’s certainly not going to win seats in Bengal. So it doesn’t matter. These are like the last gasps. It doesn’t matter. It’s okay, we’ll take care of it.”
On Wednesday night, a visibly angry Bengal chief minister had told reporters in Kolkata that RSS workers had infiltrated the national election body. She had said, “All RSS men have been included in the Election Commission.” Goswami had started to translate this bit of West Bengal chief minister’s speech, but stopped after only uttering ‘She’s now saying of course…”
Banerjee had used her extraordinary extraordinary press conference to slam the Election Commission for imposing Article 324, cutting short the election campaign by nearly 24 hours in the state.
The Election Commission on Wednesday removed two senior bureaucrats from their posts besides invoking Article 324 for the first time. This was after Shah’s road show saw violent clashes in Kolkata on Tuesday leading to the vandalisation of a statue of famous Bengali reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.