PM Modi to address rallies in West Bengal; Jaitley condemn the Kolkata violence; says breakdown of constitutional machinery

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After the Election Commission banned the poll campaigning for the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal following the massive conflicts and violence in Amit Shah’s roadshow between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Diamond Harbour parliamentary constituency and aims to cover three more constituencies before the EC’s deadline of campaigning till 10 pm on May 16 ends for the last phase.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address back-to-back elections rallies in West Bengal today, May 16 citing the Election Commission’s order of curtailing the rallies for the last phase of elections. The rally was held in Diamond Harbour constituency and Basirhat yesterday. He will address the Dum Dum parliamentary constituency and Mathurapur constituency today.

The diamond Harbour constituency has fielded Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee from TMC. BJP has fielded Nilanjan Roy against Banerjee. Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) has fielded Fuad Halim and Congress has fielded Soumya Aich Roy.

West Bengal chief minister called the EC’s ban as an “unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical gift to” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After the Election Commission’s order of curtailing the canvassing for the last phase of Lok Sabha elections following the violence at Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata, the EC received huge criticism from the political parties and the leaders.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the Election Commission has turned a deaf ear towards the woes of West Bengal chief Minister led Trinamool Congress and given a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the actions taken by the EC on the complaints of BJP and Amit Shah “clearly raise doubts of the impartiality, neutrality, and fairness of the Election Commission of India.”

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief also tweeted that “the institutional integrity of the Election Commission and integrity of the democratic process of elections is at stake.”

In another tweet, Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley tweeted that the Election Commission’s decision to cut short the poll campaigning in West Bengal was an example of “classical case of a breakdown in constitutional machinery as a free campaign in a state is not possible.”

Campaigning in West Bengal was originally scheduled to end at 5 pm on Friday for the nine constituencies to go to polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 19.

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