New Delhi/Kolkata, April 18: The Election Commission (EC) said it will not accept the reply given by West Bengal government's Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee to its showcause notice issued to the state's chief minister, Mamata Banerjee.
Television reports said this.
The EC had showcaused Banerjee last Thursday for saying at an election rally on April 9 that Asansol would be made a separate district. The EC said the CM had violated the model code of conduct by making such a remark in the middle of the election.
On Friday, the chief secretary replied to the showcause notice on behalf of the state government, saying the CM had merely mentioned about a decision that the cabinet had taken in December last year and it did not amount to any flouting of the model code of conduct.
The poll panel said it would not accept the chief secretary's reply since Banerjee was not showcaused as the head of the government but as a politician. It said the reply has to be made by the chief minister herself.
On Sunday (April 17), Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, took a dig at Banerjee saying if the chief secretary was indeed made to reply to the showcause issued to her, it amounted to misuse of the government machinery and he also compared it to the steps late prime minister Indira Gandhi had taken during the Emergency in the 1970s. He said this while addressing a rally in Krishnagar in Nadia district which will go to polls on April 21 (Thursday).
The TMC also hit back at the PM later on Sunday on the issue.