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We want peaceful, free & fair polls: Mamata to ECI

We want peaceful, free & fair polls: Mamata to ECI
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Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Friday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) not to be guided by the BJP and ensure free and fair Assembly elections in the state.

"We want peaceful, free and fair elections and the Central Forces and state Police should work together. But it is unfortunate that it is being seen that the Central Forces are being guided by the BJP. This should not happen," Banerjee said. Addressing a press conference while announcing the list of candidates for the elections, Banerjee said the ECI had deputed some of its officials for the Assembly polls whose roles in 2019 Lok Sabha elections could be questioned.

Earlier on Thursday TMC demanded removal of Deputy Election Commissioner, in-charge of Bengal, Sudeep Jain because of his 'dubious' role in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Derek O' Brien had written a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer requesting him to remove Jain.

After the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised post a rally led by Amit Shah in 2019, Jain had submitted a biased and faulty report, barring election campaigning two days before the election date while BJP was allowed to complete its campaigning for that day before the restriction was imposed. Again, he had proposed to set up a Quick Response Team (QRT) headed by an officer of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). However, the ECI did not allow the same. Banerjee had protested after the ECI had announced elections in Bengal to be held in 8 phases. She alleged that the poll schedule had been prepared on the diktats of BJP so that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah could campaign for their party nominees.

When asked how her party would fight if the EVM machines were tampered, Banerjee replied: "We have a team of 150 senior retired bureaucrats and they will be constantly monitoring the scenario. It will not be easy," she remarked.

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