NEW DELHI — The Election Commission has announced the suspension of all election campaigning in the nine parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal, which will be polling in the last phase of the election on May 19.
The EC officials addressing the press conference on Wednesday said, “From May 16 onwards till the conclusion of the election, all campaigning will remain suspended in Bengal.”
In the wake of the violence that erupted after a clash broke out between TMC and BJP in north Kolkata on Tuesday during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow, the election body invoked Article 324 to suspend all campaigning in Bengal from May 16.
The nine constituencies of West Bengal that will be polling on May 19 are Barasat, Bashirhat Dum Dum, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, Kolkata North and South.
The officials further stated that EC was deeply anguished by the act of vandalism done to Vidyasagar’s statue and that it was hopeful of the vandals being traced by the state administration.
The EC’s move many believe comes after Union Minister Piyush Goyal personally urged the poll body to take strong action against the West Bengal government for the violence that erupted during the Amit Shah’s rally.
NDTV, in one of its report had quoted the Union Minister, saying, “I request the President of India to take cognisance of the matter and ensure a message is sent to the voters that they need not to fear and they be getting full protection and should come out fearlessly to vote in large numbers on May 19 elections to make the BJP win.”
The EC further noted, “During the review with the Observers it clearly came out that while logistics arrangements, including training of polling officials, etc are mostly on track, there is distinct resistance and non-cooperation from the district administration and district police when it comes to level playing field to all candidates for campaigning and providing a fearless treat free environment to the voters.”
In the same press conference, the EC further chose to notify that Rajeev Kumar, IPS, ADG, CID stands relieved and attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi. Kumar has been asked to report at the Ministry by 10 am on May 16. Also, Atri Bhattacharya, IAS, Principal Secretary, Home & Hill Affair, Govt of West Bengal was relieved from his current charge.