West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee turned to painting, her favourite hobby, while sitting at a dharna at Kolkata's Gandhi Murti to protest against the 24-hour campaigning ban imposed on her by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Sitting alone at the protest venue, without any TMC supporters or leaders, Banerjee took out her paintbrushes, colours and an empty canvas. She poured colours on the palette, made some brushstrokes and produced a painting.
#WATCH | West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee paints & shows paintings as she sits on dharna at Gandhi Murti in Kolkata, to protest against a 24-hour ban imposed by ECI on her from campaigning from 8 pm of April 12 till 8 pm of April 13 pic.twitter.com/CvKHxTB53d— ANI (@ANI) April 13, 2021
Ahead of the fifth phase of polls in West Bengal, ECI barred Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours as she made "highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with the serious potential of the breakdown of law and order and thereby affecting the election process".
The TMC supremo has received support from leaders of different parties, including Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut and DMK's MK Stalin. While Stalin said there needs to be a level playing field for everyone, Raut said the ban on Banerjee was imposed "at the behest of the BJP".
The faith in our democracy rests on free and fair elections.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) April 13, 2021
The Election Commission of India must ensure a level playing field for all parties and candidates and ensure that impartiality and neutrality is maintained.#MamataBanerjee
ECI has imposed a ban on Mamta didi for 24 hours. This is clearly done at the behest of BJP, ruling party in India. It is a direct attack on democracy and sovereignty of independent institutions of India. solidarity with Bengal Tigress, @MamataOfficial— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) April 13, 2021
Apart from Banerjee, the election watchdog has also issued warnings to leaders like Suvendu Adhikari, Dilip Ghosh and Rahul Sinha of BJP over incendiary remarks.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with agency inputs