Cooch Behar: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused the BJP of breaching the election Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and called upon the Election Commission to ensure a level-playing field for all parties, alleging that the BJP is exploiting central agencies for its own political benefits.

Addressing two back-to-back rallies in Cooch Behar and Alipurduar, Banerjee accused the poll panel of not providing permission to rebuild damaged houses in Jalpaiguri which were destroyed by a storm recently.

"The BJP is misusing central agencies. They are using the ED, CBI, and the Income Tax to serve their (BJP) political agenda ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The central investigating agencies and paramilitary forces like the BSF and CISF are working for the BJP. We would request the EC to ensure that there is a level-playing ground for all parties," she said.

Speaking about the state administration's decision to provide a rehabilitation package to the storm-hit dwellers, Banerjee said, "The state administration through a previous law enacted under disaster management will provide Rs 1.20 lakh to the people in two phases to start building houses..

"Rs 20,000 has already been given to the affected people. Within the next few days, we will provide Rs 40,000 and then the remaining Rs 60,000 will be handed over in the next few weeks. Now, if somebody thinks I have committed any wrong, they can check the law that was passed by the state assembly last year," she said.

Hitting out at the BJP over the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state,

Banerjee said applying for CAA would designate an applicant as a foreigner and advised against it.

"The CAA is a trap to turn legal citizens into foreigners. Once you (BJP) implement CAA, NRC will follow. We would allow neither CAA nor NRC in West Bengal," Banerjee said.

She questioned why a member of the census department was included in the CAA committee "if they have no plan for the NRC in future. The CAA is the head and the NRC is the tail," she said.

Banerjee also slammed the BJP for re-nominating a person from Cooch Behar constituency who has several criminal cases against him.

"It is a matter of national shame that a person against whom several cases are pending has been appointed as the minister of state for home affairs," she said in an apparent reference to Nisith Pramanik, who is seeking re-election from Cooch Behar.

Banerjee criticised opposition bloc INDIA partners - CPI (M) and Congress - for "joining hands with the BJP" in West Bengal and asserted that the opposition front ceases to exist in the state.

Banerjee said, "Don't cast your vote in favour of the Congress and the CPI(M) if you want to defeat the BJP."

Reacting to Banerjee's assertion, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya termed the allegations as baseless.

"The allegations that central agencies are being misused are baseless. These allegations are a political rhetoric to fool the masses to divert attention from corruption. 

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