Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has hit out at the Election Commission for curtailing the campaigning for the last phase of polls in the state on Wednesday. She said the poll panel’s move was unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Trinamool Congress supremo said she had never seen this type of EC which is “full of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh people”.
There is no such law and order problem in West Bengal that Article 324 can be clamped, Banerjee said.
Banerjee said the Election Commission’s decision to curtail campaigning and remove two senior officers was taken on the direction of the BJP, its President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a hurriedly-convened media meet here, the Chief Minister said: “Some emergency situation has arisen due to some directions of the Election Commission. I don’t consider these as EC’s decision. These have been taken as per the direction of the BJP, Modi and Amit Shah.”
“In the morning, Shah held a press conference in Delhi, where he threatened the Election Commission.
“Is this a fallout of that?” she asked.
State’s principal secretary, ADG CID removed
Earlier, in the wake of violence in West Bengal, the Election Commission on Wednesday took an unprecedented step of curtailing poll campaign in the state by a day as it ordered stoppage of electioneering from 10 pm on Thursday on the remaining 9 Lok Sabha constituencies going to the polls on May 19.
The Election Commission also removed with immediate effect the state’s Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya for “having interfered” in the poll process and relieved controversial IPS officer Rajeev Kumar from his post of ADG CID, with orders to report for duty in the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi tomorrow at 10 am.
The poll body invoked for the first time Article 324 of the Constitution which gives it special powers to control and give directions for holding elections.
There will be no election campaign in 9 Parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal from 10 pm tomorrow till the conclusion of polls on May 19, an EC official said at a press conference.
The campaigning would have normally ended at 5 p.m. on Friday along with 50 other seats across 6 other states and one Union Territory.
The decisions have been “taken as an action on violence in West Bengal on Tuesday,” the EC official said, about the action taken a day after widespread violence witnessed in the state during a road show conducted by BJP President Amit Shah.
The constituencies — Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata (South) and Kolkata (North) – are going to the polls in the 7th and last phase of the elections on May 19.