The Trinamool Congress has written to the Election Commission, alleging that Suvendu Akhikari — Mamata Banerjee’s rival in Nandigram — is harbouring criminals and anti-socials and putting them up in different hotels and guesthouses of the state. Senior party leader Derek O’Brien, who wrote to the Commission, claimed that in spite of the local police being apprised of this, no action had been taken.
The letter names series of locations, alleging that Mr Adhikari has put up criminals who are not residents of the state, in those places.
“Locally, police have been informed of this, however, no steps have been taken yet. We call upon you to immediately intervene and direct necessary steps to be taken by the police under your supervision to forthwith apprehend all the outside criminals hired and harboured by Suvendu Adhikari at the above locations,” the letter read.
The party has also written another letter to the Commission, in which it asked for the arrest of all anti-social elements in Purba Medinipur district — an area controlled by Mr Adhikari and his family.
“During the first phase of polls in Purba (east) Medinipur, there has been large scale violence by anti-social elements of the Bharatiya Janata Party, resulting in grave injuries to many people and also various instances of booth capturing, rigging and jamming by them,” the Trinamool wrote to the poll commission.
Mr Adhikari, once a close aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had joined the BJP in December. His face-off with her in Nandigram — the place that catapulted Ms Banerjee to power in 2011 ending the 35-year Left rule — is the centrepiece of this election.
The Trinamool Congress has also asked the Election Commission not to deploy armed forces from any of the NDA-ruled states, saying it would ensure free and fair elections.