West Bengal Assembly polls | Audio clip with conversation between Mamata and local BJP leader creates a flutter

According to BJP, the Chief Minister got in touch with Pralay Pal, who has sworn allegiance to Adhikaris, to help her win Nandigram.

An audio clip with an alleged conversation between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a local BJP leader in Nandigram have created a political flutter in West Bengal political circles giving new dimension to the electoral contest. 

In an audio clip that was made public by the State BJP leadership the Chief Minister is allegedly heard to request a local BJP leader Pralay Pal to help her out in the Nandigram polls. Ms Banerjee is contesting against BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram Assembly seat that goes to polls on April 1.  

“You are young person and do a lot of work, I know.. Please help us out this time,” Ms Banerjee is allegedly heard in the audio.    

When the local leader alleged that he was harassed by the TMC, Ms Banerjee said, “Your local leader did not allow me to enter Nandigram. Earlier I was also not involved but today I am taking a stock of everything that is why this call”. The Chief Minister was referring to Suvendu Adhikari by the local leader who defected to BJP in December 2020.Mr Pal said told the Chief Minister that he will not betray the BJP.  

While BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari called the conversation a reflection of the political bankruptcy of Trinamool Congress. Senior BJP leader Sishir Bajoria played the audio outside the office of the Chief Electoral Office, West Bengal. 

There was no denial from Trinamool Congress but the voice in the audio clip was not that of Mamata Banerjee. Senior Trinamool Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee held a press conference saying that there is nothing wrong in the Chief Minister to former party worker.  Mr Pal was a TMC activist who joined BJP a few months ago. TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh also spoke on similar lines and said that it was a  “courtesy phone call” and it was unfortunate that the call has been made public. 

 TMC comes out with another audio  

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress also released an audio clip of conversation between two Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) leaders Mukul Roy and Sishir  Bajoria.  In the audio  Mr Roy is alleging heard telling Mr Bajoria to include a demand that polling agent in a polling booth should not necessarily be a resident of that booth. Mr Roy is also heard telling  Mr Bajoria that they will have to impress on the Election Commission on the issue. The BJP leaders are discussing that if polling agent has to be from the same booth BJP will find it out polling agents on all seats.  

Releasing the audio, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that the audio is a reflection of political conspiracy behind influencing the Election Commission. Earlier in a day a delegation of TMC leaders including eight MPs of the party met the Chief Electoral Officer and submitted a memorandum to the election Commission seeking withdrawal of notification dated March 18, 2021 regarding invalid relaxation in the appointment of polling agents.  

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