Updated: April 15, 2021 9:03:44 pm
The Election Commission (EC) Thursday imposed a 24-hour campaigning ban on BJP’s West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh over his “highly provocative” and “inciteful” remarks about the CISF firing in Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of polling on April 10.
Ghosh cannot attend rallies or any campaign-related gatherings starting from 7 pm Thursday till 7 pm Friday.
On Sunday, Ghosh had said there would be similar incidents like the one in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi if “dustu chelera” (bad boys) do not behave in the upcoming election phases. He was referring to the violence witnessed on April 10 at a polling station in Sitalkuchi where voting was underway for the fourth phase. Four persons, including an 18-year-old, were killed in firing by CISF personnel.
“From where have the ‘dustu chele’ (bad boys) come? The ones who received bullets in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi yesterday. These bad boys will not remain in Bengal. This is only the beginning. Those who think that the CISF carry guns just for show are mistaken. If anyone takes law into his own hands, he will receive a befitting reply. Central forces will be deployed in booths and no one will be allowed to threaten them. If things go out of hand, there will be more Sitalkuchi-like incidents in many places. So beware,” he had said at a public meeting at Baranagar in North 24 Parganas district.
The commission, in its order, observed that his comment, aside from violating the Model Code of Conduct, had law and order implications and hence could adversely affect the election process in West Bengal.
The EC took the action based on a complaint filed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), where it had accused Ghosh and his party colleague Rahul Sinha for their “inflammatory, inciting statements” and allegedly “instigating violence against the electorate in West Bengal”.
On Monday, Sinha was banned for 48 hours for saying that the central forces should have killed more in Sitalkuchi. However, he was given a chance to present his defence to the commission first. The poll body justified this decision citing “urgency of the matter.”
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