Bengal: TMC strongman under 24-hour watch

In an unprecedented move, the Election Commission decided to put Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondol under 24-hour surveillance over concerns stemming from his controversial past.

A magistrate will shadow Mondol in addition to the central forces that will surround him wherever he goes.

Every movement of Mondol would be video-graphed, according to the poll panel’s decision on Friday.

Mondol, Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president, has courted controversy over his remarks and speeches.

He was at one point heard asking party workers to hurl bombs on police in earlier elections. He has already been show-caused and censured by the ECI during the run up to the assembly polls.

“The ECI has directed that a magistrate and central force personnel would shadow Mondol round the clock from Friday. All his movements would be watched and video-graphed till the poll ends,” said a senior official of the poll panel in Kolkata.

The move came within 24 hours after chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi hinted legal action against Mondol in Kolkata on Thursday.

The poll panel is yet to clarify whether this is the ‘legal action’ which Zaidi had promised or more actions would follow.

The number of central force personnel that would shadow Mondol would depend on the availability. But there would be at least four to eight personnel. Opposition parties welcomed the move but said that it would have been better had Mondol been arrested.

“At least it would tighten the noose and we hope that it would help in checking the rigging. But we wish he is better kept out of polls altogether,” said Sidharth Nath Singh BJP national secretary.

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