West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday (April 13) sat on dharna (sit-in) near Gandhi statue at Dharamtala in Kolkata in protest against the 24-hour ban imposed on campaigning by the Election Commission.
She arrived at the place about 20 minutes before the plan to sit on dharna from 12:00 noon.
The EC’s decision came on Monday evening and the 24-hour ban from 8:00 PM on April 12 would end at the same time on Tuesday.
Immediately, after the ban period ends, she would be addressing an election rally at Barasat at 8:15 and at Bidhannagar at 9:00 PM. So, in that way she would not be much affected by the ban as daily she used to address three to four meetings.
As Mamata’s sit-in venue is near the Press Club and a well-known centrally placed location it was bound to attract widespread media attention.
Those who have closely been observing the West Bengal election are of the view that the Trinamool Congress leader had perhaps achieved the political objective. A large number of people had turned out in her support. This included intellectuals, singers, artists, social activists etc. She had succeeded in sending the message that she is a victim of the Election Commission’s partisan attitude.
The Trinamool Congress leaders are now accusing the Election Commission of being biased as they are alleging that imposing ban simply because she asked the Muslims to vote unitedly to TMC is unfair. After all both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah had taken the name of various communities in their election speeches, they are claiming.
Perhaps Mamata decided to sit alone as a part of strategy.