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Tapes of Modi’s speech in Bengal sent to EC

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Kolkata, April 29 (IANS) A report and tapes of the speech delivered by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in West Bengal where he raised questions about Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s painting being sold at an exorbitant price have been forwarded to the Election Commission in Delhi, an official said Tuesday.

The Election Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of Modi’s speech at an election rally in Sreerampore of Hooghly district Sunday and sought a detailed report from the district administration Monday.

Modi had attacked the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress government over the Saradha chit fund scam and accused the chief minister of joining hands with union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to save the Saradha scamsters.

Assistant chief electoral officer Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said the report and the tapes of the speech have been sent to the Commission in Delhi for further action.

The Election Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of six cases of model code of conduct violations in the state since the March 5 announcement of Lok Sabha polls, an official said.

The poll panel received a total of 860 complaints from individuals and political parties till date, he said. As many as 578 of those were by parties including Trinamool Congress, Congress and CPI-M and BJP.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist topped the list with 372 grievances, of which action-taken report has been submitted in 324.

As for the third leg of polls Wednesday, in the nine Lok Sabha seats – Uluberia, Howrah, Sreerampur, Hooghly, and Birbhum, Bolpur, Arambagh, Bardhaman Purba and Bardhaman-Durgapur, as many 2,889 micro observers will be deployed.

"A total of nine general and nine expenditure observers, four police observers will be in service Wednesday with 87,304 polling personnel," Bhattacharya said.

For heightened security, 356 booths will be equipped with webcasting facility and 1,631 video cameras will be pressed into service. Because of central security forces in entire Birbhum, no live monitoring through video cameras will be seen.

As many as 566 digital cameras will be involved for detailed imaging.

The Commission also announced a special tram will go around the city May 2 for electronic voting machine (EVM) awareness.

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