Gadkari declined permission for Bengal event

Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari
Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari

By bappaditya paul

THE WEST BENGAL STATE ELECTION COMMISSION (SEC) has declined permission for a 15 April event at Haldia that was to be attended by Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, saying that the event will violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) currently in force for the civic polls.

This was on a day, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a dig at Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on his tour of Coochbehar district in Bengal. 

“Today Union Home Minister has visited Chhit-Mahal areas in Coochbehar, along with BJP MPs. Is it official visit or political visit?” she asked on Tweeter. 

Mr Gadkari, on the other hand, was scheduled to inaugurate a new cargo related facility at the Haldia Dock on 15 April and Shipping Ministry had written to the district magistrate of East Midnapore seeking clearance for the event. 

The DM, who happens to be the District Municipal Election Officer (DMEO), in turn referred the matter to the state poll panel in Kolkata. 

“We have written back to the Shipping Ministry today stating that under MCC provisions, no political functionaries can take part in such an event even in the capacity as a minister. This holds true for both Central and state ministers,” Bengal state election commissioner Mr Sushanta Ranjan Upadhaya said Tuesday evening.

A CPI-M poll graffiti at Kamalgaji on the southern fringes of Kolkata.
A CPI-M poll graffiti at Kamalgaji on the southern fringes of Kolkata.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the CPI-M women wing ~ the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) ~ today called on Mr Upadhaya and alleged that the ruling Trinamul Congress was reigning terror on Left women candidates and cadres in various poll-bound civic bodies throughout Bengal. 

Led by its state president Anju Kar, the AIDWA delegation in particular named Gangarampur in South Dinajpur, Bansberia, Arambagh, Tarakeswar and Seerampore in Hooghly, Gayeshpur in Nadia, Halisahar, Bhatpara and Bongaon in North 24-Parganas. 

Trinamul backed miscreants were stopping Left workers from electioneering in some wards of Kolkata Municipal Corporation as well, they alleged in a memorandum.  

Elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and in another 91 civic bodies in Bengal is slated for 18 April and 25 April, respectively. 

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