The Trinamool Congress has alleged that the schedule of Lok Sabha polls was stretched till May end to coincide with Ramazan and prevent Muslims from exercising their franchise.
West Bengal is among three states where Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven-phase between April 11 and May 23. The two others states are Uttar Pradesh (80 seats) and Bihar (40 seats). The ruling Trinamool Congress has alleged that the schedule was stretched till May end to coincide with Ramazan and prevent Muslims from exercising their franchise during holy month which begins on May 5.
The last three phases of Lok Sabha elections, on May 6, 12 and 19, will be held in the Islamic month of Ramadan when Muslims observe fast from sunrise to sunset. A total of 24 constituencies will go to polls in last three phases in West Bengal where Muslims comprise 27% of nearly 10 crore population. The Muslims are TMC’s vote bank in the state.
On Monday, TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came out to say that the seven-phase poll was a ploy of the BJP government destroy West Bengal. “This seven-phase election is a BJP ploy to destroy Bengal. But the party will get a fitting reply. The Trinamool Congress will win all the 42 seats in Bengal. Voters in Bengal have seen several elections and are very intelligent, unlike what the BJP assumes them to be,” she said.
The state sends 42 MPs to Lok Sabha. In the previous general election held in 214, the TMC had bagged 34 seats. The BJP won just seats. This time, BJP president Amit Shah has set a goal of winning 22 seats in the state.