New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for appealing to Muslims in the state that "their votes should not be divided." The poll body has asked the Trinamool Congress chief to explain her stand within 48 hours. 

The notice said the poll panel had received a complaint from a BJP delegation alleging that on April 3, Banerjee appealed to the Muslim voters not to let their votes get split among different political parties during the election rally at Tarakeshwar in Hooghly.

"Kanyashree, Kanyashree, there are scholarships up to the university. There is Shishashree for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. For general category there is Swami Vivekananda Scholarship. There is Aikyashree for my brothers and sisters belonging to the minority community and I have given it to 2 crores and 35 lakh beneficiaries. I am requesting my minority brothers and sisters with folded hands don't divide the minority votes after listening to the devil (shaitaan) person who had taken money from the BJP.

"He passes many communal statements and initiates clashes between the Hindu and the Muslims. He is one of the apostles of the BJP, a comrade. The comrades of CPI-M and BJP are roaming around with the money given by the BJP to divide the minority votes. Please don't allow them to do so. Keep in mind that if the BJP comes into the government then you will be in severe danger.

"I also will tell my Hindu brothers and sister not to make division amongst yourselves as Hindu and Muslim after listening to the BJP," the notice quoted Banerjee as saying.

Addressing a poll rally in Murshidabad, Banerjee had asked Muslims of the state to make sure that their votes do not go to the Congress, BJP or the CPI. "If you cast your vote elsewhere, it is bound to go to BJP. Your vote should not go to the Congress, the BJP or the CPI. Your only symbol is TMC. Congress, in a bid to win a seat, will make tall statements. But they won’t be able to fight the BJP. CPIM is also BJP’s bosom friend and won’t be able to fight it. The TMC will fight the BJP and form the government in West Bengal," she had said. 

The BJP approached the Election Commission seeking action against Banerjee alleging that she has violated Representation of the People''s Act by asking Muslims to come together and vote for her party TMC in the state assembly polls.

"She has not only violated the essentials of the Model Code of Conduct by making such remarks but this is also a criminal violation of the Representation of People Act, 1951. The poll panel should initiate action against Mamata Banerjee and her party for this violation," Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

He also demanded a similar action against DMK leader MK Stalin for "lying" and "trying to malign" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image by making an absurd allegation that he came to Tamil Nadu with money bags.

On Tuesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in Cooch Behar, took a swipe at Banerjee over these comments, saying that it indicated she had lost the support of the minorities.

"Didi (Ms Banerjee), recently you said all Muslims should unite and not allow their votes to be divided... means you are convinced the Muslim vote bank has also gone out of your hands, the Muslims have also turned away from you," the Prime Minister said.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta