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Election Commission curtails West Bengal campaigning after Kolkata violence
16 May 2019, 05:57 | Glen Norman
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A bust of 19th century social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was seen lying shattered, with the TMCP activists blaming the BJP, while the saffron party functionaries pointed fingers at the Trinamool.
Amid surging threats of violence during the last phase of polls in West Bengal, the Election Commission on Wednesday took the unprecedented step of cutting short the electioneering for nine Lok Sabha constituencies, scheduled to go to polls on Sunday, by a day. "I have travelled across the country and looking at the popular response, I am fully confident that the BJP after fifth and sixth phase of the elections has crossed the majority figure", Amit Shah said during a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
The violence also spread to the nearby Vidyasagar College, where a large group of TMCP members had camped to protest against Shah's roadshow.
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The EC also ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) and Additional Director General, CID from their postings in West Bengal. Rajeev Kumar will have to report to MHA on Wednesday.
Modi also said that a section of students of the Calcutta University have started to reveal "the dirty politics" of Banerjee and her party leaders who were behind Tuesday's clashes which left a number of persons injured on both sides.
"This would be the first time when EC has invoked Article 324 in this manner but it may not be the last in cases of repetition of lawlessness and violence which vitiate the conduct of polls in a peaceful and orderly manner", Deputy Election Commissioner Kumar said.
The order said it has been brought to the notice of the Commission that there have been growing incidents of disruption and violence during the political campaigns and processions in West Bengal during the ongoing elections.
"The Commission is deeply anguished at the vandalism done to the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar". But the pillars holding up Bengal's intellectual pride are taking the hit. Jain, who visited the state, said there was a distinct resistance and non-cooperation from the district administration and police with providing a level playing field to all candidates for campaigning and in providing voters a threat-free environment.
The two parties have traded charges of inciting the violence during BJP president Amit Shah's massive road show in the state capital on Tuesday. The BJP chief presented three photographs to prove his claim.
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