BJP providing shelter to criminals in Bengal's Purba

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Medinipur, TMC tells EC Kolkata, Mar 26 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress on Friday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission accusing the BJP of providing shelter to miscreants in parts of West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district to create violence on polling days.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O' Brien and Lok Sabha MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar told reporters they have several reports about 'miscreants being brought to Purba Medinipur from neighbouring districts and Kolkata ahead of the polls'.

'We have information that criminals are being brought to Patashpur, Egra, Bhagabanpur, Khejuri to foment disturbances. Many outsiders are staying at local houses. This is a violation of the poll guidelines,' Ghosh Dastidar said after meeting the EC officials.

They sought deployment of additional central forces in constituencies of the district where assembly elections will be held on Saturday.

'We have received inputs that at Kanthi (Uttar and Dakshin), Bhagabanpur, Khejuri, Egra, Ramnagar and Patashpur, there is going to be considerable violence planned by the BJP on the day preceding the poll as well as the polling days,' the ruling party in West Bengal said in a letter to the EC.

The party also alleged that deployment of central armed forces is 'significantly less' in these areas, which it suspects is 'out of the failure of local intelligence collection, or ignoring the inputs or deliberate avoidance to blatantly favour the BJP'.

Ghosh Dastidar also said TMC candidate from Khejuri was attacked by his political rivals on Thursday.

'We have also information that miscreants are being brought to Nandigram to create disturbances in the constituency on April 1, the day of polling, and before that.

We urge the EC to ensure free and fair elections,' she said.

The Trinamool Congress has accused BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari of 'harbouring armed criminals' in Nandigram.

Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is pitted against Adhikari, her former confidante who joined the BJP some time ago, in the high-profile Nandigram seat.

The TMC also alleged that outsiders of the constituency have been staying at nine locations there.

The party accused the local police of not taking any action against the BJP and sought the Election Commission's intervention into the matter.

'We call upon you to immediately intervene and direct necessary steps to be taken by the police under your supervision to forthwith apprehend all such armed criminals hired and harboured by Suvendu Adhikari,' the letter said. PTI SUS BDC BDC