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PM Modi's visit to Bangladesh violated poll code: TMC to EC


The TMC has written to the Election Commission alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Bangladesh violated the model code of conduct in place for the West Bengal Assembly polls and some of his programmes there "intended to influence the voting pattern" in certain constituencies of the state. The letter dated March 28 was released by the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday.

Modi visited Bangladesh from March 26 to 27 to attend the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the country's independence and the birth centenary of 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman following an invitation from his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. The subject line of the letter written by TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien read: "Gross violation of democratic ethics and the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his visit to Bangladesh." "We have no objection whatsoever to his visit to Bangladesh for this official purpose. After all, India played a critical role in the liberation of Bangladesh. 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. "However, the All lndia Trinamool Congress 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," O'Brien said in the letter.

"No lndian 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," he said. The TMC leader further alleged that the political motive behind Modi's visit is proven by the fact that he took along with him BJP MP from West Bengal Santanu Thakur, who holds no official position in the government of lndia.

"No MP or representative from the Trinamool Congress or other parties was invited to accompany the PM. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has thus grossly misused his official position to interfere from foreign soil in the election process in West Bengal," O'Brien said. "The All lndia Trinamool Congress demands 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," he said.