EC curtails campaigning in WB after mass violence in Kolkata ahead of the final phase of Lok Sabha polls

The Election Commission of India (ECI) first time in India’s electoral history took unprecedented steps by invoking article 324 of the constitution to curtail canvassing in West Bengal ahead of the poll-related violence between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers in Kolkata.

The Election Commission removed two senior state officials in West Bengal- the Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director General, CID, Rajeev Kumar.

Campaigning is withdrawn from the nine constituencies of West Bengal including the Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, North Kolkata, South Kolkata, Diamond Harbour, and Jaynagar.

Both BJP and TMC are ready to embark a hectic campaigning schedule on Thursday canvassing for nine parliamentary constituencies and will end the campaigning at 10 pm.

Deputy Election Commissioner said that the EC is deeply anguished at the vandalism to the statue of Vidyasagar. It is hoped that the vandals are traced by the state administration.

After the massive violence and a huge law and order crisis in Kolkata amidst the roadshow of Amit Shah, where TMC workers and BJP leaders clashed with each other leading to the destruction of property and violence, both the parties alleged each other for the outcome of Election Commission. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) members clashed with the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) supporters at a college street.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee accused the Election Commission and said that she has never seen an EC that was so biased and full of RSS people. The incident drew criticism for political leaders in the wake of mass violence related to polls.

West Bengal has witnessed polling in all six phases. The seventh and last phase of elections will be held on May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.

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