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Salute Arun Goel for not succumbing to BJP’s pressure: Mamata

Kolkata, Mar 10 (PTI) A day after Election Commissioner Arun Goel resigned from the post, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday lauded him for not succumbing to the BJP’s pressure, and asserted that the saffron camp would be defeated in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Kolkata, Mar 10 (PTI) A day after Election Commissioner Arun Goel resigned from the post, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday lauded him for 'not succumbing' to the BJP’s pressure, and asserted that the saffron camp would be defeated in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Speaking at a mega rally of the TMC at Brigade Parade Grounds here, Banerjee said the sudden resignation of Goel proves that the “BJP is attempting to loot votes in the Lok Sabha polls”.

“I salute Arun Goel for not succumbing to pressure by Delhi leaders (of BJP) and his top bosses in connection with the West Bengal LS polls and the deployment of forces. It is proven that what they (the BJP-led NDA government.) want to do in the name of election. They want to loot votes,” she said.

Election Commissioner Arun Goel resigned on Saturday, days before the expected announcement of the schedule for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. His tenure was till December 5, 2027, and he would have become Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) after incumbent Rajiv Kumar retired in February next year.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his allegations that central funds are being siphoned off in West Bengal, the TMC supremo said, “The PM must cross-check facts with officials before making baseless allegations against Bengal.' “He is only inaugurating projects in Bengal but not releasing funds for the state. This is his guarantee. He has made all false promises,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress on Sunday announced its candidate list for the 42 Lok Sabha seats and launched its poll campaign from the grand rally at Kolkata's famed Brigade Parade Grounds.

The TMC boss iterated that her party, which is a partner of the opposition bloc INDIA, will contest the Lok Sabha polls in Bengal alone.

“We will contest the Lok Sabha polls in Bengal alone and will fight against the Congress, BJP and the CPI(M). We will also contest elections in Assam and Meghalaya. We are in talks with Akhilesh Yadav (of SP) for contesting one Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh,” she said while addressing the 'Jana Garjan Sabha'. PTI SUS PNT BDC

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