"Public has to come out and vote. They are not being able to move out... what is this?"
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who undertook a massive rally in south Kolkata's Jadavpur on Thursday ahead of the crucial fifth phase of assembly polls, took a swipe at the opposition for seeking imposition of "curfew" on people's movement during poll dates.
"Public has to come out and vote. They are not being able to move out... what is this? They are just imposing section 144 (prohibitory orders) to restrict movement. Since they (opposition) are scared that they can't win, they are saying impose curfew.
"After destroying Bengal, they are asking Delhi (read Election Commission) to impose curfew. People will snatch their own democratic rights... ," Banerjee said at a rally in Sulekha Crossing.
Imposition of prohibitory orders, a standard operating procedure on the poll date, was strictly implemented by the Election Commission during the fourth phase of the assembly election on April 25.
Several Trinamool candidates including ministers had then lashed out against the poll panel and the central forces for "excesses" and putting curbs on the normal life of the people.
Draped in her signature white saree with a blue border, Banerjee showcased her charisma and appeal as thousands of supporters responded to her slogans of "Thanda Thanda cool cool, abar ashey Trinamool" and "Trinamool Zindabad".
Braving the humid weather, hundreds sported Trinamool merchandise and posters and banners. The party flags fluttered in slight drafts of air as Banerjee energetically walked through urging people to vote for Trinamool candidates in the fray in the fifth phase, including she herself.
Terming Jadavpur, Kasba, Tollygunge and Rashbehari constituencies in the city her favourite and "lucky" area, Banerjee sought to tap into public sentiment.
In the 1984 general election, Banerjee became one of India's youngest parliamentarians ever, beating veteran CPI-M leader Somnath Chatterjee, from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha Constituency.
"Whenever I go through this area I turn nostalgic. People had sent me to parliament from here," she said.