A BJP delegation on Sunday urged Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab to take note of a purported audio clip -- in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is heard proposing a rally with the bodies of Cooch Behar firing victims - as "such move could lead to more tension" in the state amid the ongoing elections.
Senior BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, who led the delegation to the CEO office here, told reporters that he has apprised Aftab of the conversation that apparently took place between Banerjee and the TMC's Sitalkuchi nominee, and pointed out that it could lead to untoward situations in the next three phases of the assembly elections.
The TMC has already described the audio clip as "bogus" and said no such conversation took place. Dasgupta, who is also the candidate for saffron party's Tarakeshwar assembly seat, further stated that the CEO has been requested to take up the matter with the top officials of the Election Commission.
He claimed that the audio tape was leaked on purpose. "We don't think this is a case of phone-tapping," Dasgupta said.
He stressed that the BJP would happily abide by all EC-imposed COVID-19 restrictions, including the decision to end campaigning 72 hours before polling in the next three phases of elections. "As a responsible party, we are ready to extend all cooperation to the EC," the former MP added.
Releasing excerpts of a purported telephonic conversation between Banerjee and Partha Pratim Ray, the TMC candidate from Sitalkuchi seat, the BJP's IT Cell chief, Amit Malviya, on Friday claimed that the "chief minister is trying to instigate riots by asking her party leaders to take out rallies with bodies".
"She is heard asking her party candidate to build the case in such a way that both the superintendents of police (of Cooch Behar) and other central forces personnel can be framed. Is this expected from a chief minister? She is trying to instil a sense of fear just for minority votes," he said.
Four persons died near a booth in Sitalkuchi constituency of Cooch Behar district as central forces opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals, who "attempted to snatch their rifles, amid the voting exercise for the fourth phase of elections on April 10.
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