The Election Commission on Wednesday evening issued a notice to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over comments “openly demanding votes on communal grounds” that were made while campaigning in Tarakeshwar in Hooghly district on April 3, ahead of the third phase of elections.
Ms Banerjee, 66,, has been directed to explain her remarks within 48 hours of receipt of the notice, failing which the Commission said it would “take a decision without further reference to you”.
The notice is based on a complaint by a BJP delegation led by Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
According to the poll body, the complaint refers to the following section of Ms Banerjee’s speech.
“… I am requesting my minority brothers and sisters with folded hands… don’t divide the minority votes after listening to the devil… who had taken money from the BJP… He passes many communal statements and initiates clashes between Hindus and Muslims… comrades of the CPM and BIP is roaming around with money given by BJP to divide the minority votes”.