PANAJI: A video being circulated on social media of people from West Bengal arriving by train in Goa to vote for the Trinamool Congress in the 2022 Assembly polls here was fake, the Mamata Banerjee-led party said on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference, TMC leader Trajano D’Mello said the BJP government in Goa should take action if they believe the video is true.
He also said by making such claims, the BJP and its IT Cell which was forwarding it across social media platforms, were discrediting the Election Commission.
“The video is fake and BJP workers and leaders are forwarding it along with their purchasing partner the Congress. Such fake videos are emerging because the ruling BJP is shivering with fear after the TMC announced an alliance with MGP for the Goa polls,” he claimed.
Incidentally, addressing a public gathering in Ponda during the day, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had spoken about the video, and had claimed 500 people were arriving from West Bengal daily for a sum of Rs 500 per month to convince people to vote for a particular party.
In the video, some youth can be heard saying they have been brought here by a poll consultancy firm to vote in the upcoming Goa elections.
In a veiled reference to the alleged post-poll violence in TMC-ruled West Bengal, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday appealed to local people not to visit Kolkata “even by mistake”.
Without taking any names, he also slammed supporters of TMC and others for comparing the party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to goddess Shantadurga.
Sawant was addressing a gathering at Ponda town after inducting former Congress MLA Ravi Naik in the BJP.
Former Maharashtra chief minister and BJP’s Goa in-charge for polls Devendra Fadanavis was present along with Goa BJP chief Sadanand Shet Tanavade.
“Someone comes from Delhi (referring to AAP), TMC comes and MGP ties up with them (for upcoming Goa polls),” Sawant said.
The chief minister accused both the parties (TMC and AAP) of telling “blatant lies” in the run-up to the Goa polls, due in February next year.
“Our people don’t go to Delhi. And don’t go to Kolkata, even by mistake. I am telling you the truth. Don’t dare to go there (Kolkata). Do you know what happened there post the recent elections (in West Bengal)? Do you want that kind of violence in Goa?” he asked.
Without taking the name of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Sawant said that some leaders are calling her bigger than goddess Shantadurga.
“Have they turned insane? They are comparing her (Mamata) to the goddess. We have to tell them that she cannot be compared with our goddess Shantadurga,” he commented.
Sawant said Goa is a cultured state where Goans treat Muslims, Hindus, and Christians as brothers and sisters.
“Here no one kills anyone or commits atrocities on anyone,” he said.
The chief minister alleged that 500 people arrive from Kolkata in Goa by train every day.
“You have seen a video. They (people from Kolkata) come here and are paid Rs 500 per day,” he said insinuating that the TMC lacked local support for campaigning.