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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 14 April: THE ELECTION Commission (EC) has issued a show-cause notice to Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee for violation of the model code of conduct, and has ordered “urgent legal action” against Trinamool Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal for threatening workers of the Opposition parties.

Announcing this at a Press conference in Kolkata this afternoon, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said that the poll panel would decide on its future steps on getting a reply from Banerjee.

Chief Minister Banerjee has been served the show-cause notice for announcing at an election rally in Asansol on 08 April that after the polls, Asansol would be made a district. MCC violation does not lead to a legal action against a politician concerned, and also there is no possibility of barring such a person from contesting elections. Action for MCC violation usually leads to public stricture aimed at deterring an offender from committing similar offence in future.

As regards Mondal, the CEC said: “Barring one, all political parties have brought to our attention the alleged incident (of threats by Mondal) in that district. The Commission is initiating urgent legal action against any such person.”

He declined to divulge what is the exact legal action that was being taken against Mondal but said that “legal action covers everything,” including arrest.

Sources said that Mondal could either be put under preventive arrest or a house arrest until the election in the Assembly seats in Birbhum got over at 6 pm on 17 April. Alternately, he might be moved out of Birbhum and kept elsewhere in the state under police detention.

“Given the fact that the CEC has included the word “urgent” in this context, a visible action is likely to be taken tonight itself or latest by tomorrow forenoon,” an informed source said.

Ever since the Assembly election was announced, the Trinamool Birbhum president had been openly issuing threats to Opposition party workers and supporters. In the latest instant, Mondal had said that he would “vanish” the Opposition polling agents, and keep confined to their homes such voters who are likely to vote for the Opposition.

During the 2014-15 local body elections in Birbhum, he had publicly asked Trinamool workers to attack Opposition party supporters and bomb policemen if they came to their rescue.

Reacting to the EC action, Mamata Banerjee told an election rally at Suri in Birbhum that she was not someone to get cowered. “You have show-caused me on Bengali New Year day, people will show-cause you on 19 May, ” the day the poll results are scheduled to be declared.

“They are doing whatever BJP, Congress, and CPI-M are saying. Why should Anubrata be arrested? In that case, (CPI-M leader) Md Selim) who threatened a blood bath should be arrested first,” she said.