The BJP on Monday wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI) alleging that two West Bengal ministers have promised certain benefits to voters in separate incidents after the model code of conduct (MCC) came into force on February 27, and urged the poll panel to debar them from contesting polls. The ruling Trinamool Congress denied that its leaders violated the MCC and accused the saffron party of trying to influence the ECI.
A purported video clip showed minister Firhad Hakim "announcing favours for the minority community at a mosque and appealed to the gathering present to defeat BJP which he termed as sectarian," the letter said.
"The incident took place on February 27 after the MCC was announced and shown live on a national TV channel. In the video clip you will kindly note that there is an admission by Firhad Hakim that this happened after the enforcement of the MCC," it read.
The saffron party also alleged that video clippings and newspaper reports established "beyond doubt" that money was being distributed by a cooperative bank in Howrah under the direct supervision of a minister who is the local MLA on February 27.
The TMC ministers had violated the MCC in the past and continue to do so, emboldened by the fact that no action was taken against them by the Commission, the letter written by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta and senior leaders Pratap Banerjee and Shishir Bajoria claimed.
"Now in both incidents they have committed the violations in full public view and in front of camera. The BJP demands that the commission takes immediate cognisance and debars them from contesting elections and participating in the entire election process," the letter said.
The BJP further urged the EC to immediately stop the TMC leaders from distributing money to voters with immediate effect.
A senior TMC leader said BJP was levelling wild allegations against two ministers who did nothing which could be called flouting the MCC.
BJP leaders are trying to influence the ECI to act against the TMC as they know that they do not have any support base in the state.
"What about (BJP leader) Suvendu Adhikari visiting a Krishna temple of a Vaishnavite order the day after election dates were announced and speaking against the TMC and the state administration openly? Hakim did not do anything like that at any religious place," the leader added.
(With PTI inputs)