Controversy erupts over Mahua Moitra entering counting centre
The BJP has alleged that Moitra, who didn't have the jurisdiction to enter the centre with personal bodyguards, made the move to influence the counting personnel
A controversy erupted after Krishnanagar Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra entered a counting centre at Ranaghat college in Nadia where the counting of ballots for the Santipur by-election polls was underway on Tuesday.
The BJP has alleged that Moitra, who didn't have the jurisdiction to enter the centre with personal bodyguards, made the move to influence the counting personnel. But the MP has refuted the allegation saying that she didn't possess any personal security cover.
The controversy erupted just before counting began at 8 a.m. She remained inside the centre for 15 minutes.
Jagannath Sarkar, who won from the Assembly constituency but resigned to continue as an MP, said: "Moitra is an MP and she moves with personal bodyguards. So how can she enter the counting centre? Why did the counting officials allow her inside? This is illegal. I have personal bodyguards and so I didn't enter the counting centre. She entered there to influence the officials."
Moitra, however, reacted sharply saying: "I don't need a personal security cover like the BJP MPs. When I was an MLA, I didn't take any personal security and now I am an MP and, still, I don't carry any personal bodyguards with me.
"I would like to ask everyone to go to page 196 of the RO rule book where it is clearly written that I can enter alone. I have prepared my card and so I have entered. I have not done anything illegal."
The Election Commission has, however, sought a report from the District Election Officer (DEO) and has warned Moitra verbally to stay away.
In Santipur, TMC candidate Brojokishore Goswamu is pitted against the BJP's Noranjan Biswas.
According to the latest update, Goswami is leading by a margin of more than 10,000 votes after the second round of counting.