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CEC Zaidi seeks video footage of PM Modi’s speech at Krishnanagar

The Election Commission of India has asked the Chief Electoral Officer to send the video footage of a speech delivered by the Prime Minister at an election rally in Krishnanagar on Sunday afternoon.

This comes after the Trinamool Congress lodged a complaint with the EC that the BJP had provided the video-feed of the speech delivered by Modi in Krishnanagar to telecast it in television channels when election was on in  56 Assembly constituencies. Trinamool Congress leaders got in touch with their counterparts in Kolkata and alleged that Modi’s speech was being telecast while the polling was on. The matter was immediately brought to the notice of the EC.

The EC said that Modi had said during his speech that chief secretary did not do the right thing in giving reply to Mamata Banerjee’s show-cause notice. The reply should have come either from herself or from her party or from any lawyer engaged by the TMC. “This was also being looked into,” a senior EC official said.

The norm is that no telecast of an election rally is allowed in areas where polling is underway as it might influence voters, senior TMC leader Mukul Roy said. He said that Mamata Banerjee had addressed two election meetings in Mangolkot and Raina in Burdwan district, but her speeches had not been telecast in Birbhum where polling was on from 7 am to 6 pm in most of the Assembly constituencies and till 4 pm in seven assembly seats. Roy said: “We have been lodging several complaints to the EC but it is unfortunate that our complaints have not been looked into seriously. Let us see whether the EC properly investigates this allegation or not,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented incident, BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee from Mayureswar Assembly constituency on Sunday threatened a presiding officer of a polling booth, alleging false voting in his presence.

The Election Commission has started an inquiry into the matter after receiving the complaint. The voting remained suspended for nearly ten minutes as she entered into polling station 30 and threatened the polling personnel, including the presiding officer. The CEO added that the video footage of the incident was sent to the Election Commission. The Election Commission’s Delhi office has sought a detailed report from the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) after going through the footage which shows Chatterjee threatening poll personnel.  According to a senior official of the Commission, no candidate can threaten poll personnel inside a booth in this manner.

Chatterjee told the polling personnel, “You came here to carry out rigging as instructed by the Trinamool Congress. How much money have they given you?” She also said: “Make a statement that rigging has taken place inside the booth. I have got a mobile footage which I will send to the Commission.”
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