The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday approached the Election Commission (EC), alleging campaign by Bangladeshi national Gaazi Noor for Trinamool Congress MP candidate Sougata Roy in Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat.
This comes after another Bangladeshi national, Ferdous Ahmed was campaigning for the Mamata Banerjee-led party in the state, following which the government subsequently blacklisted Ahmed from campaigning, cancelled his business visa and asked him to leave India.
In a letter to the EC, the BJP wrote, "It has come to our notice that yet another Bangladeshi national Gaazi Noor has been campaigning for the TMC candidate Shri Sougata Roy in the Dumdum Lok Sabha constituency. To substantiate our allegation we are enclosing with this letter a pen drive with a two-hour long video of the entire road show."
The BJP claimed that Noor was seen very close to Roy's vehicle during campaigning. The Bangladeshi national was also seen with another TMC leader, Madan Mitra, the party alleged.
"Not only this act is in complete violation of the terms of visa which makes the foreigner an illegal person in India, but this is yet another case of a foreigner actively influencing the electoral process of India's highest lawmaking body - Lok Sabha. This is a gross violation of the very basics of any democratic structure," the BJP said while alleging the violation of Model Code of Conduct.
The BJP apprised the EC that foreigners holding a temporary business visa cannot participate in an election campaign. Gaazi, while campaigning for the TMC, has "clearly violated" visa regulations, the party alleged.
"The visa rules of India clearly states that those holding temporary business visa are permitted 12 types of specified activities in which participating in an election campaign or in any form of the electoral process is not mentioned. Hence, Noor Gaazi has clearly violated the visa regulations," the BJP said in the letter.
Urging the EC to take cognisance of the matter, the party said, "The visa rules specifically provide for action against the foreign national and the sponsoring person/agency including imprisonment."
This comes after Ahmed, who is a Bangladeshi actor, on Monday, campaigned for the TMC in the Raiganj parliamentary constituency in West Bengal's North Dinajpur district and the BJP had strongly objected to Ahmed's campaign, alleging the violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The MHA issued a notice to the actor, asking him to leave India for violating his visa conditions. He was blacklisted from campaigning in the country.
Three Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal - Darjeeling, Raiganj and Jalpaiguri - will go to polls in the second phase of elections on April 18. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)