A day after a purported audio tape -in which she is heard proposing a rally with the bodies of Cooch Behar firing victims- surfaced, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged that her phone is being tapped and said she will order a CID probe into it.
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Addressing an election rally here, she accused the BJP of being involved in the conspiracy as the saffron party “cannot match” the ruling Trinamool Congress’ campaigning on development programmes.
“They (BJP leaders) are even eavesdropping on our everyday conversation. It seems they are tapping our phone calls on cooking and other household chores.
“I will order a CID probe into it and not spare anyone involved in such snooping activities. I have already come to know who is behind this,” the TMC supremo said.
Banerjee also claimed she has information that the “central forces are being involved in such acts with some agents”.
“It is clear that the BJP is behind it though they claimed they have no role in it,” she said.
A controversy had erupted on Friday after the BJP released the purported audio clip in which Banerjee is heard telling the Trinamool Congress nominee of Sitalkuchi to hold rallies with bodies of the four persons killed in CISF firing during polling on April 10.
Claiming that such a conversation never took place, the TMC had described the audio clip as “bogus” and wondered whether the Centre was tapping a chief minister’s phone.
Launching an attack on the Election Commission (EC) for not clubbing the remaining three phases of the ongoing assembly elections into one, she accused the poll panel of paying heed to the demands of the BJP.
“You (EC) have curtailed the campaigning hours, and in the name of COVID restrictions, you are doing whatever the BJP demands.” Worried over the COVID-19 surge, Banerjee had on Thursday urged the Election Commission to think about conducting polls for the remaining assembly seats at one go, while also stressing that her party had opposed the prolonged eight-phase poll schedule.
The EC has curtailed the time for the campaigning up to 7 pm. Earlier, it was up to 10 pm.
The poll panel also extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three phases of the elections to be held on April 22, 26 and 29.
“Street meetings are usually held in the evening hours in the summer. The decision was taken purposely to reduce the number of my campaign meetings,” Banerjee said.
She also alleged that the EC is “favouring” the saffron party so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah can address all their poll rallies.
She once again blamed the BJP for bringing outsiders during campaigning and exacerbating the COVID-19 situation in the state.
“The pandemic situation was not as alarming in Bengal as that of Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh. But the sudden surge in coronavirus cases is due to the presence of outsiders who came in the state without RT-PCR tests,” she said.
Banerjee also condoled the death of Congress candidate Rezaul Haque and Revolutionary Socialist Party nominee Pradip Kumar Nandi, who tested positive for COVID-19.
She flayed the prime minister for not acting on the state government’s suggestion to vaccinate every citizen in the past six months when the spread of the virus was much less.
“This has led to the present situation when walls are being raised in Lucknow to hide the view of cremation of bodies and the pandemic took a heavy death toll in Gujarat,” the TMC chief said.
She accused Modi and Shah of making a false promise to extend financial aid to members of the Matua community and said they have done nothing for backward castes and dalits.
Accusing the two BJP leaders of peddling lies at poll rallies, the TMC supremo said, “They are saying that we are making false promises. We are running the Kanyashree project and beneficiaries are getting the aid. Can he explain what happened to the PM Cares fund? Who benefited from demonetisation?”