Poll code flout slur on state BJP president
Dilip Ghosh rides the bike with Locket Chatterjee on the pillion seat in Raiganj on Wednesday
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh rode a motorcycle through Raiganj streets with Locket Chatterjee as a pillion passenger and around 30 other two-wheelers trailing him, prompting the Trinamul Congress to allege that he had flouted the model code of conduct for the ensuing civic polls.
Around 9am, the BJP state president spoke at a public meeting in Debinagar in Raiganj. While moving from there, he took a motorcycle from a BJP worker and rode to Ukilpara for another meeting. From there, he had Locket on the pillion seat and moved through 13 to 14 wards of the town. Ghosh stopped at many places, spoke to people and held meetings.
Over 30 motorcycles ridden by BJP cadres accompanied Ghosh.
Both Ghosh and Locket were without helmets and so were most BJP workers. Raiganj police said they had sent a detailed report to the administration on traffic rule violation.
Trinamul alleged that the bike rally was a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
"Dilip Ghosh is known for violating rules. We have filed a complaint with the state election commission on his bike rally," Arindam Sarkar, a district Trinamul leader, said.
Told that his ride might amount to violation of the MCC and traffic rules, Ghosh said: "Leaders and workers of the ruling party are flouting rules and laws everyday. Why should we alone have the responsibility of obeying rules?"
Officials of North Dinajpur district administration said they were looking into the allegation. "We have information about the violation of MCC by the BJP. There is a clear guideline of the election commission about the ban on bike rallies. If the information is found to be correct, we will file a suo motu case against all people concerned," T N Sherpa, the SDO of Raiganj, said.
In another development, Kalimpong police arrested four persons on suspicion of unduly influencing voters and recovered Rs 80,000 in cash from the vehicle they were travelling. Investigation is in progress to know the quartet's political allegiance, police sources said.
Also, three others were arrested from Monteviot area in Kurseong for allegedly distributing cheques to voters in an effort to influence them.
KOUSIK SEN and RAJEEV RAVIDAS