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TMC ‘bought off Central forces’, alleges BJP

Jagannath Sarkar, the two-term BJP MP from West Bengal’s Ranaghat, today alleged that the Central forces, sent to the State to ensure free and fair elections, had been “bought off by the Trinamool Congress”. He also alleged that the Election Commission officials had adopted a passive role for similar reasons. “Where was the CISF? If […]

Jagannath Sarkar, the two-term BJP MP from West Bengal’s Ranaghat, today alleged that the Central forces, sent to the State to ensure free and fair elections, had been “bought off by the Trinamool Congress”. He also alleged that the Election Commission officials had adopted a passive role for similar reasons.
“Where was the CISF? If there wasn’t any setting with the Trinamool Congress, then why were they so inactive even though we pointed out the illegalities?” he questioned.
Jagannath Sarkar is the latest BJP leader to voice misgivings about the passive role played by Central agencies in the State before, during and after the elections.
“I myself caught hold of fake polling officers, but the Central forces did not move an inch to arrest them,” he told The Daily Guardian.
In a closely watched contest, Jagannath Sarkar had emerged victorious in the Ranaghat parliamentary constituency, but with a diminished margin, reflecting a nuanced shift in the political sentiments of the Matua community, which forms a huge part of the population of the constituency.
Despite securing 7,82,396 votes (50.8%) against the Trinamool Congress candidate Mukut Mani Adhikari’s 5,95,497 votes (38.7%), Sarkar’s vote share has seen a decline of nearly 2.3% compared to his previous term.
Multiple BJP candidates like former Ministers of State Subhas Sarkar and Nisith Adhikari who lost in the elections, and actor Hiraan Chattopadhyay have accused the Central forces of remaining inactive, and helping the Trinamool Congress rig votes.
Speaking to The Daily Guardian, CPIM leader Md Selim said that his party candidates had faced the indifference of the Central forces during the elections.
“Our Diamond Harbour candidate Pratikur Rahaman had detected a fake CPIM agent sitting inside the booth. When challenged, the man ran away. Pratikur tried to detain him but the Central force jawans just stood by looking elsewhere,” he said.
“The Trinamool Congress has no dearth of money, be it from electoral bonds or from the multitude of scams. Mamata Banerjee had utilised the services of IAS and IPS officers to connect with the EC and Central force officers and ensure their cooperation,” he added.
The BJP today said that the party would be lodging election petitions in respect of four Lok Sabha seats in which the party candidates have alleged electoral irregularities.
Meanwhile, the party’s Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, said that election petitions were being prepared in respect of four constituencies – Ghatal, Diamond Harbour, Jaynagar and Basirhat – which had seen widespread irregularities despite the presence of Central forces.
“Some more petitions for some more constituencies may be moved. We are gathering information and evidence before we file the petitions. As per rules, we have to file election petitions within 30 days of the declaration of the results. So, we have some time in hand,” Suvendu Adhikari said.

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