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West Bengal Election 2021: PM Modi’s Bangladesh visit violation of model code, TMC complaints to Election Commission

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress alleged in the complaint that no Prime Minister ever had "brazenly indulged in an unethical and undemocratic act and violated the model code of conduct by indirectly campaigning for his party from foreign soil".

March 31, 2021 / 08:35 AM IST
PM Narendra Modi meeting Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina on March 27 (Image: Twitter/@narendramodi)

PM Narendra Modi meeting Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina on March 27 (Image: Twitter/@narendramodi)

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has registered a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) flagging what it calls a violation of “democratic ethics” and the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his official visit to Bangladesh last week.

In its complaint (dated March 28) by TMC leader and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien addressed to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) , the West Bengal's ruling party has raised objections to PM Modi's programmes in Bangladesh on March 27, the second day of the visit.

The complaint said the party  had no objection to the PM's visit to Bangladesh for official purpose as “India played a critical role in the liberation of Bangladesh” and West Bengal “in particular made an immense contribution to the heroic struggle of our fellow Bengalis in (what was then) East Pakistan for freedom from the brutal regime in West Pakistan.”

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“However, the All lndia Trinamool strongly objects to Shri Modi's programmes in Bangladesh on March 27. These had nothing to do with either the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh or the birth centenary of 'Bangabandhu'. Rather, they were solely and exclusively intended to influence the voting pattern in certain constituencies in the ongoing elections to the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal," the complaint said.

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PM Modi visited  Bangladesh on March 26-27 to mark the 50th anniversary of the country's independence.

The party, led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that "no Indian Prime Minister has so brazenly indulged in an unethical and undemocratic act, and violated the Model Code of Conduct, by indirectly campaigning for his party from foreign soil."

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Banerjee had asked why visa of the Prime Minister must not be cancelled as the visa of a Bangladeshi actor was cancelled when he attended the Trinamool Congress (TMC) rally during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The complaint to EC alleged that the political motive behind Modi's visit to Orakandi in Bangladesh was doubly proven by the fact that he took along with him Santanu Thakur, a BJP MP from West Bengal, who holds no official position in Central government. No MP or representative from Trinamool Congress or other parties was invited to accompany the PM, the complaint said.

The TMC has alleged that the PM has misused his official position.

“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has thus grossly misused his official position to interfere from foreign soil in the election process in West Bengal," the complaint said

The TMC has demanded that the Election Commission of lndia "not only censure him but also take deterrent punitive action against him so that he dares not repeat such misconduct in future."
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