Phase VI polls : Hawala transactions foment fresh war between Trinamool Congress and BJP in West Bengal

File picture : Modi and Mamata rally during the Lok Sabha polls

Kolkata : Hawala transactions to drive the voters and influence the poll agents are some of the key issues that are fuelling the political fire between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP in Mamata Banerjee-ruled West Bengal.

The latest discovery of Rs 1 lakh 13 ,000 from the car of BJP candidate from Ghatal, Bharati Ghosh, on Thursday night has reignited the issue. A former IPS, Ghosh had joined the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Claiming a conspiracy hatched by the state police, Ghosh said she was returning from an ATM with the cash when the police stopped her. The TMC has moved the Election Commission (EC) against Ghosh and sought an immediate cancellation of her candidature.

Firing a volley of charges at BJP, the state-ruling TMC has alleged that the Narendra Modi-ruled party has been spending crores to win this election. However, police could not arrest Ghosh because of a directive recently issued by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court on February granted protection from arrest in all cases registered against Ghosh.

The officers of Pingla police station in Ghatal, West Midnapore, have lodged a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Ghosh. The senior Election Commission(EC) officials also said that they have sought a report from the District Magistrate (DM) of West Midnapore for detaining Ghosh.

“I was carrying Rs 50,000 cash in the vehicle. The money is for election expenses. My driver was carrying Rs 13,000 cash and my convener was carrying Rs 49,000 cash. I had withdrawn the money from an ATM,” Ghosh said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the BJP is using the hawala route to transfer money to distribute among voters. “Money is being transported by various leaders under Z + and Y+ plus security. It is changing hands through hawala route.

Here is link of Mamata Banerjee speech at Ashoknagar in North 24 Pargana

“I have received information that these operations are being carried out by the BJP during the night. We have informed the Election Commission (EC). No one is taking any action,” Banerjee said at a rally in Ashoknagar, North 24 Parganas, on Friday.

“The BJP is employing and paying contractors to bring people from outside Bengal to fill their rallies,” Banerjee alleged.

Senior TMC leaders also alleged that several BJP leaders are distributing cash , and hiring contractors to distribute money to the voters ahead of the sixth phase poll in Bengal .

The BJP, however, has also left no stone unturned to attack Banerjee. While PM Modi has claimed at a rally in Bankura that TMC’s mafia is controlling the coal mines in the state, leader Mukul Roy has said on Friday that West Bengal is the only state with higher rate for electricity.

“While every unit of power costs below Rs 4 in the BJP-ruled states, the rate in West Bengal has gone upto Rs 6.42. Why do the people of Bengal have to pay extra tariff for power consumption? The people have already paid Rs 13,000 crore over the usual rates between 2011 and 2019. This is a huge scam,” Roy said.

Polls on May 12:
Tamluk,
Kanthi(Contai),
Ghatal,
Midnapore ,
Jhargram,
Purulia,
Bankura,
Bishnupur

Expert opinion
770 companies of Central forces will be deployed during this phase. The paramilitary forces have been advised to wear bulletproof jackets during the polls. A majority of the constituencies that are going to polls on the sixth phase are Maoist infested — Ajay V Nayak, special observer for West Bengal

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