In the wake of the violent clashes between TMC and BJP workers during Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata, the Election Commission on Wednesday barred poll campaigning in nine parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal, that go to polls on Sunday in the final phase, from 10 pm tomorrow.
“The election commission is deeply anguished at the vandalism done to the statue of Vidyasagar. It is hoped that the vandals are traced by the state administration,” said a poll panel official in a press conference. “This is probably the first time that ECI has invoked Article 324 in this manner but it may not be last in cases of repetition of lawlessness and violence which vitiate the conduct of polls in a peaceful manner,” he added.
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The constituencies that will go to poll in the final phase are Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, South and North Kolkata.
Hitting out at poll panel’s order to ban election campaigning in Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called Tuesday’s Kolkata violence as “pre-planned communal conspiracy” and accused Shah behind the riots caused in the state. “The Election Commission is following BJP’s orders. EC should have taken action against Amit Shah for violence in Kolkata. Why did it not issue a showcause notice against Shah,” the chief minister said.
Earlier today, Modi said: “Didi is frightened by the rise of BJP in West Bengal.” Addressing a poll rally in the TMC ruled state, the prime minister also accused Banerjee of throttling democracy and added that the people of the state have made up their mind to “end this despotic rule of Mamata Banerjee one day”. BJP national president Amit Shah too accused the TMC workers of vandalising Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar’s bust to gain sympathy as Mamata Banerjee government is going to lose the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.