The Opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu Thursday criticised the Election Commission for curtailing campaigning in West Bengal by 20 hours, throwing its weight behind West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC.
DMK President MK Stalin alleged the EC had different set of rules for the “ruling party”, apparently referring to the BJP, and the opposition.
“Ban on campaign in nine constituencies in #WestBengal. The EC has one set of rules for the Opposition and another for the ruling party. Highly condemnable,” he said in a tweet. In first such action in India’s electoral history, the EC had on Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 pm on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline, following violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata during a roadshow by the saffron party chief Amit Shah.
The EC had invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election on May 19. Stalin had earlier attended a TMC sponsored mega rally of opposition parties in Kolkata. Referring to the vandalism of a bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Stalin said the “BJP follows a typical pattern”.
“The BJP follows a typical pattern. Vandalises Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu and (that of) Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in West Bengal,” he said. A BJP worker had been arrested for damaging a statue of the Dravidian icon in Tamil Nadu last year, following which he was expelled from the party.
Further, BJP National Secretary H Raja had also courted controversy when he supported the removal of statues of the social reformer in Tamil Nadu. His remarks had been made in the aftermath of a statue of Communist icon, Vladimir Lenin, being pulled down in Tripura after the BJP government assumed power in that state last year, unseating the decades-old Left front government.