While the polling for fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections is underway, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) wrote a letter to the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of illegally recording a conversation between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and party leader Partha Pratim Ray.
In the letter, the TMC delegation, including Yashwant Sinha, Derek O'Brien and Purnendu Basu, said that a telephonic conversation between Banerjee and Ray was played by the BJP at their office in presence of BJP IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya and MP Locket Chatterjee.
"In the said conference, it has been alleged that in the aftermath of the CISF firing incident at Sitalkuchi, Mamata Banerjee had a conversation with Partha Pratim Ray. The BJP has not only illegally recorded and/or caused it to be recorded, but also played it at the press conference out of context. The entire exercise by the BJP is an illegal act and is a direct assault on legal rights, including the Right to Privacy of Mamata Banerjee and Partha Pratim Ray," the TMC delegation said.
"For such gross violation and the consequences of the said act of BJP, necessary steps for prosecution under criminal law shall be taken seperately," they added.
Violence erupted at a polling booth in Cooch Behar during the fourth round of polling on April 10. The ruling TMC alleged that central forces opened fire twice at polling booths in Cooch Behar where people are casting their votes, killing four people.
Following the incident, the EC ordered the adjournment of the poll in PS 126 of Sitalkurchi AC, Cooch Behar based on an interim report from Special Observers. Since the incident, the Election Commission has barred the entry of any political leader in the Cooch Behar district for the next 72 hours.
Polling is underway in a total of 45 constituencies covering the districts of Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and a segment of Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman in the fifth phase. A total of 319 candidates, including 39 women are in the fray in Phase-V.
There are 15,789 polling stations designated for this phase. The security for this phase has been beefed up with the deployment of 1,071 compes of central forces for ensuring a peaceful election.
The voting for the sixth phase will be held on April 22.
( With inputs from ANI )
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