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EC puts controversial TMC leader Anubrata Mondal under scanner


Press Trust of India Kolkata
The Election Commission has put under close watch controversial Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal on the eve of polling in Birbhum district, a senior official of the Commission said Sunday.
The decision was made after the Commission received representations from poll workers saying they are feeling "threatened" if Mondal, TMC Birbhum district president, keep moving from one booth to the other on the polling day, he said.
EC officials and personnel of the central force will be with Mondal till Tuesday and his mobile phones will be monitored, he said.
Birbhum district has two Lok Sabha seats - Birbhum and Bolpur (SC).
"Mondal is quite influential. Poll workers have told us that they feel threatened when the TMC leader moves from booth to booth. The decision was made to ensure that they work without hesitation," the official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
When contacted, Mondal said the EC move followed the "direction of the BJP" and he would be at the party office throughout the polling process tomorrow.
"I do not roam around on election days. I remain in my party office and there will be no difference tomorrow. The Commission has taken this step at the behest of the BJP. The BJP has got scared and that is why they are doing this," Mondal said.
Mondal is known for courting controversies and the Commission had also put him under 24-hour surveillance ahead of the 2016 assembly election in the district.
In July 2013, he had asked his supporters at a public meeting in Birbhum to hurl bombs at the police and burn down houses of rebel TMC candidates in panchayat elections.
In September last year, he was caught on camera purportedly instructing his TMC workers to get a party rebel and a woman BJP leader arrested on a false case of possessing cannabis.
Filmstar turned TMC MP Satabdi Roy is seeking re- election from the Birbhum seat. BJP's Dudh Kumar Mondal, Congress Imam Hossain and fielded Rezaul Karim of the Congress are also in the fray.
In the Bolpur (SC) seat, the four major contestants are TMC's Asit Kumar Mal, BJPs Ramprasad Das, Ramchandra Dome of the CPI(M) and Abhijit Saha of the Congress.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 9:40 PM IST

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