New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday said that it had asked BJP president Amit Shah to explain the party's position on the controversial statement made by Bengali actor-turned-BJP leader Joy Banerjee.
It may be recalled that Banerjee had said last weekend that the EC was under the control of the BJP and that the next assembly election would be conducted in West Bengal under the army's watch.
In a statement, the EC said, "We have directed that the BJP may explain its position with regard to statement of Joy Banerjee. The reply of the party may be submitted by September 25."
The EC statement to Amit Shah further stated that, "Joy Banerjee's remark can distort public perception about our neutrality, autonomy and independence."
According to media reports, the legal wing of the Election Commission has started scrutinising Banerjee's statement and is likely to issue a show cause notice against him.
The EC is also contemplating filing a legal case against Banerjee to send a strong message to all parties not to make loose comments against it.
Addressing a party meet at Mayureswar, Banerjee had alleged that the opposition TMC had defeated them in the last Lok Sabha election by using "unfair means".
"They had defeated us by cheating. But in the coming assembly election, it will not be possible, as it will be held under army vigilance and the election commission is in our hands," Banerjee claimed.
Banerjee contested the 2014 general elections from Birbhum, West Bengal on BJP ticket against sitting MP and Tollywood actress Satabdi Roy. He came in third with 235,753 votes behind TMC's Shatabdi Roy and CPIM's Dr Kamre Elahi.
All political parties have condemned Banerjee for his controversial statement.