Kolkata: The Election Commission on Wednesday (April 7) issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her remarks calling for consolidation of minority votes.

The Commission said that it has found her speech violating the provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the model code of conduct.

The EC notice stated that Banerjee made an appeal to voters along communal lines while campaigning in Hooghly.

Without naming Indian Secular Front’s Abbas Siddiqui at a rally in Hooghly’s Tarakeswar, Banerjee had said, “I am requesting my minority brothers and sisters with folded hands, don’t divide the minority votes after listening to the devil (Shaitaan) who had taken money from the BJP.”

The EC has asked Banerjee to respond to the notice within the next 48 hours, failing which it will take a decision without further reference to her.

Banerjee had a run-in with the Commission earlier when she alleged poll rigging during the second phase of the assembly elections.

She had also dialed Governor Jagdeep Dhankar from Nandigram, alleging that there is a complete breakdown of law and order.

Responding to her allegation, Election Commission had written a point-by-point reply to the Chief Minister.

The letter by Umesh Sinha, Election Commission of India, referring to her hand-written letter citing alleged going-on at polling station No. 7 Boyal Maktab Primary School, Nandigram Assembly Constituency, said, the EC said that allegations made against Border Security Force (BSF) jawans deployed at polling stations in Nandigram were “not correct”.

Three phases of polling have completed in the ongoing state elections. Five more phases are to be held. The eighth or the last phase of polling will be done on April 29. Counting of votes will be done on May 2.

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