NEW DELHI: BJP chief Amit Shah has been asked by the Election Commission to explain by this Friday, what a leader of his party meant when he boasted at a meeting of workers in West Bengal that the "Election Commission is in our hands."
Actor-turned-politician Joy Banerjee was attacking Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress at the meeting when he said, "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."
The Election Commission said Mr Banerjee's claim that the BJP has control over it denigrates the autonomous body, which conducts elections all over the country.
West Bengal will vote for a new government in 2016. The Trinamool Congress, led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, had swept the state in 2011, evicting the Left after three decades of ruling the state.
The BJP has all along been a minor player in the state, but has been attempting to build its cadres with an eye on making inroads in next year's assembly election.
In the national election that brought the BJP to power at the Centre last year, Mamata Banerjee swept her state again. Her Trinamool Congress won 34 of Bengal's 42 Lok Sabha seats, making it the fourth largest party in parliament.
Despite a high-octave campaign, the BJP placed fourth with only two seats.