The Election Commission (ECI) took the unprecedented step to cut short the campaigning for the last round of voting in West Bengal for 9 Lok Sabha constituencies, scheduled to go to polls on Sunday, by a day.
ECI’s discision of taking this unprecedented step comes a day after the violence at Amit shah’s ( BJP President) roadshow that provoked a war of words between the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. In the Violence the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, an icon of the Bengali renaissance, was damaged by vandals who broke into the 147-year-old institution established by Vidyasagar, also a social reformer.
During the ‘silence period’, No election campaigning can hold public meetings or display any election matter via electronic media in nine parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal, namely Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, South and North Kolkata, from Thursday 10pm tomorrow till the conclusion of polls,” deputy election commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar told reporters.
It is the first time that ECI has cut short the campaign duration in a state, invoking the power it enjoys under Article 324 of the Constitution. ECI also removed the principal secretary (home), Atri Bhattacharya, and additional director general, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Rajeev Kumar, from their postings in West Bengal for interfering in the process of conducting election on Wednesday night.
The TMC and BJP accused each other of masterminding the violence in Kolkata on Tuesday.