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Bengal polls 2021: BSF refutes TMC's charge of threatening voters in border areas

The Trinamool Congress has accused the Border Security Force of threatening people in the border areas of West Bengal to cast their votes in favour of the BJP in the upcoming April-May Assembly elections.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Kolkata Updated on: January 22, 2021 11:21 IST
tmc, bsp, bengal polls 2021
Image Source : PTI (FILE)

Trinamool Congress workers participate in a rally from Tollygunge tram depot to Hazra crossing in South Kolkata on Jan 19.

The Trinamool Congress has accused the Border Security Force of threatening people in the border areas of West Bengal to cast their votes in favour of the BJP in the upcoming April-May Assembly elections. 

The ruling party on Thursday met the full bench of the Election Commission of India (ECI) led by CEC Sunil Arora in Kolkata to raise the maater. The full bench of the ECI arrived in the state on Wednesday evening on a three-day visit ahead of the assembly polls, the dates of which are yet to be announced.

"We have informed the CEC and other ECI officials that the BSF is threatening voters in the border areas. We have received inputs that officers of the paramilitary force are visiting various villages and asking people to cast their votes in favour of a particular political party. This is a dangerous situation and the ECI must look into it," TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee told reporters after meeting the ECI delegation.

READ MORE: Bengal polls 2021: Election Commission to deploying 25% more security personnel

Chatterjee also alleged that the BSF personnel were telling the villagers that "none but us will remain in the border areas throughout the year to look after you".

BSF denies allegation 

The Border Security Force, however, denied the TMC's allegation as baseless and far from the truth. Denying the TMC's allegations, the BSF said it is a professional border guarding force actively checking illegal infiltration and smuggling.

"The statements given by West Bengal ministers Partha Chatterjee and Firhad Hakim, levelling allegations against the BSF, are without any basis and far from any truth. The BSF stands firmly committed to its motto 'duty unto death' at all times," a statement issued by the force's South Bengal Frontier said.

The BSF is deployed along West Bengal's 2,217-km border with Bangladesh.

BJP slams TMC

Reacting to the controversy, BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh said that the BSF only protects the borders and no finger should be pointed at the force. "Those levelling the allegations know better what prompted them to say such things," Ghosh said after meeting the ECI delegation. He said the BJP urged the ECI for the deployment of central forces in each booth during the elections.

"The party also informed the ECI about the abnormal rise in the number of voters possibly due to the inclusion of infiltrators in the list and urged the poll panel to look into the matter," Ghosh said.

READ MORE: Names of Rohingyas figure in Bengal voter list, urged EC to intervene: Dilip Ghosh

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