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Trinamool Congress MPs detained during dharna outside Election Commission HQ; check details

The MPs alleged that the central agencies were unfairly targeting opposition leaders ahead of the general elections, accusing the motive behind arrests made by the agencies as purely political.

Trinamool Congress MPs detained during dharna outside Election Commission HQ; check details AJR
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First Published Apr 8, 2024, 5:51 PM IST

A 10-member delegation from Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday (April 8) staged a dharna outside the Delhi headquarters of the Election Commission, demanding action against what they termed as the "misuse of central agencies" by the BJP-led Central government. However, the police detained the MPs, physically removing them and putting them onto a waiting bus.

Led by the party's Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien, the delegation includes MPs Dola Sen, Sagarika Ghosh, Saket Gokhale, and Shantanu Sen, among others. They demanded a meeting with the full bench of the poll body and insisted on the removal of chiefs of four central investigation agencies before the upcoming elections.

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Despite promises of a 24-hour sit-in for a "level playing field," police action ensued when the leaders refused to leave despite repeated requests.

The MPs alleged that the central agencies were unfairly targeting opposition leaders ahead of the general elections, accusing the motive behind arrests made by the agencies as purely political.

Trinamool MP Dola Sen mentioned a case where an arrest was made by the NIA in 2024 for a 2022 incident without informing the local police, stressing that the chiefs of the four central agencies should be replaced. Sagarika Ghosh stressed the need for a level playing field in electoral democracy and criticized the actions of officials from various agencies.

The MPs urged the Election Commission to change the chiefs of NIA, ED, CBI, and income tax, citing instances of alleged harassment and molestation during raids conducted without informing local authorities.

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The protest follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent remarks at an election rally, where he promised swift action against corruption after the election results are declared on June 4.

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