New Delhi: With the Election Commission (EC) announcing eight-phase Assembly polls in West Bengal, senior Congress leader Tariq Anwar alleged on Friday that the poll panel has tried to help the BJP. Voting for the Assembly polls in four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry will begin on March 27, with West Bengal to witness the maximum of eight phases of polling continuing till April 29, the EC announced on Friday. Counting of votes for the four states and Puducherry will be taken up on May 2.
The West Bengal Assembly polls will be held in eight phases, up from seven the last time, beginning with polling for 30 seats on March 27, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said while announcing the poll schedule. Asked about the eight-phase polls in West Bengal, Anwar said, "I believe it has been done deliberately and in a way, the EC has tried to help the BJP." "They (BJP) feel that it will help them, but it will not as far as I know about the people of Bengal. They are revolutionary in nature…they may deviate for some time but ultimately, Bengal is Bengal," he told PTI.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee also questioned the rationale behind announcing eight-phase polls in her state, saying she suspects that the dates were announced in accordance with the suggestions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for a better management of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) election campaign.