BJP files EC complaint against TMC for ‘mocking’ Basirhat candidate Rekha Patra


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lodged a complaint with the Elections Commission of India on Monday against the Trinamool Congress. The BJP brought the EC’s attention to a “very derogatory post” made by the TMC Social Media Incharg Debganshu Bhattacharya and AITC official handle on X.

“The post carried personal details the BJP Candidate – Ms. Rekha Patra from Basirhat [in West Bengal] and mocked her for being a beneficiary of a health Scheme. Swasthya Sarthi and Duare Sarkar Scheme of the State Government in malicious and mala fide manner with the sole intent of showing her in poor light,” the BJP said in its complaint.

The BJP said this was a “clear violation of her right to privacy wherein her personal details including he personal phone number and her bank details were also published”. 

The BJP also questioned as to “how did a political party access this confidential governmental private data of beneficiaries?” Referring to the matter, the BJP accused the TMC of -violating: “Fundamental Right guaranteed by the Constitution of India, the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, IPC, Electoral Laws and MCC”.

It added the “TMC is a matter of great concern and is in contravention to the settled principles of Free & Fair elections with leve playfield for all contesting parties.” The controversy erupted just ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

The TMC tweet at centre of controversy

The BJP was referring to the tweet posted by the TMC on March 28. In the post, the TMC said BJP’s MP candidate from Basirhat, Rekha Patra, “plays the ultimate game of hypocrisy, enjoying the benefits of Mmata Banerjee’s schemes while aligning herself with Delhi’s JOMIDARS (BJP).”

The post also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme a “fail” in comparison to West Bengal Chief Minister’s Swasthya Sathi scheme.

“PM Narendra Modi, the next time you call her, don’t forget to inquire about her Swasthya Sathi card. It might help you understand how our leader’s brainchild, Swasthya Sathi, surpasses the failed Ayushman Bharat scheme,” the TMC posted.

ALSO READ: TMC lodges complaint with EC after Bengal BJP chief ‘threatens party worker with ED action’

The TMC attacked a screenshot of person details of Patra to prove that she is the beneficiary of the state government’s scheme.

NCW chief reacts

National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma reacted to the TMC’s social media post and asked if Mamata Banerjee is paying to the beneficiaries “from her own pocket? “

Is Mamata Banerjee paying from her own pocket? That’s taxpayers money and is for every citizen of west Bengal. Is it only for AITC workers? And what do you mean by Delhi’s Jomidars? Is west Bengal not part of India? You people behave as if Momta Benarji own the state,” Sharma said in a post on X.

Who is Rekha Patra?

Rekha Patra is a BJP candidate from West Bengal’s Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency and victim of the Sandeshkhali violence. ‘

Sandeshkhali is a village in the Basirhat subdivision, which falls under the North 24 Parganas district. Basirhat, one of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, is currently represented by the TMC.

Patra an alleged victim of torture at the hands of arrested and now-suspended TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his aides, news agency PTI reported. She was among the most vocal protestors of Sandeshkhali. The police arrested Shibu Hazra, a local muscleman and Shajahan Sheikh’s associate, based on her complaint.

PM Modi had spoken with her on March 26 and lauded her as ‘Shakti Swaroopa’. Patra is also believed to have been part of the group that met PM Modi on the sidelines of his public meeting in Barasat on March 6 and narrated the plight of Sandeshkhali women to the PM.

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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 02:47 PM IST


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