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‘My Phone Being Tapped By BJP’: CM Mamata Banerjee Lashes Out

The Quint
·3-min read

A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party leaked an audiotape of the West Bengal Chief Minister on Friday, 16 April, she hit back at the party and accused them of tapping her conversations.

In the audio that was leaked by BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya on Friday, the woman’s voice, alleged to be Mamata’s, can be heard asking TMC Sitalkuchi candidate Partha Pratim Ray to keep the bodies so that the party could hold a rally with the dead.

She also allegedly told him he should concentrate on the vote, that this was done to keep people from voting and that she will take care of the DM, SP of the area.

This call was about the Cooch Behar incident where four people were killed after the CISF had decided to shoot them in self defence. “Recourse to open fire by CISF personnel became absolutely necessary in order to save lives of voters lined up at the polling booth, those of other polling personnel, and their own lives as the mob had attempted to snatch their weapons,” the Election Commission said in a statement.

The TMC had said that the EC seems to be under the BJP and were facilitating violence sponsored by them.

More details about the incident can be read in the report below.

Also Read: 4 Killed in Cooch Behar in Firing By CISF, EC Says ‘Self-Defence’

What Did Mamata Say

Banerjee said that she will order a probe by the CID into the issue. “I will not spare anyone involved in such activities. I have already come to know who is behind this,” the CM said.

TMC leaders followed this up with a letter to the Election Commission, accusing the BJP of illegally recording a conversation between her and the TMC MLA.

Earlier, the TMC had said the audio tape was bogus and denied that any conversation had taken place.

In the letter however, the TMC has accepted that it was Mamata Banerjee who was talking to Partha. “In the said conference, it has been alleged that in the aftermath of the CISF firing incident at Stalkuchi, Mamata Banerjee had a conversation with Parth Pratim Ray. The BJP has not only illegally recorded and/or caused it to be recorded, but also played it at the press conference, out of context. The entire exercise by the BJP is an illegal act and is a direct assault on legal rights, including Right to Privacy of Mamata Banerjee and Partha Pratim Ray,” the TMC said.

The letter, written by TMC leaders including Yashwant Sinha, Derek O’Brien and Purnendu Basu said that ‘necessary steps for prosecution under criminal law will be taken separately’.

Also Read: Bengal Polls: Close Fight As Bastions of TMC & BJP Poll in Phase 5

PM Modi Says Mamata Playing Politics With the Dead

On the same day on Saturday, 17 April, PM Modi hit out at the TMC supremo and accused her of playing politics with the dead.

At a rally in Asansol, Modi said that she had an old habit of doing politics with bodies. He also added that her insensitivity was grossly evident, considering that she was trying to make a political gimmick of the four people who died in Cooch Behar on 10 April.

BJP has urged the EC to take note of the clip and said that such moves could lead to more tension in the West Bengal polls. The delagation was led by BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta who said that he had notified the poll panel of the said conversation and that he requested them to take up the matter with other senior officials of the EC.

On allegations of phone-tapping, he said, “We don’t think it is a case of phone-tapping.”

(With inputs from PTI, Times of India)

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