New Delhi: Election Commission on Wednesday curtailed the campaigning in the state following Tuesday’s Kolkata violence. Nine Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal will go to polls in the last phase on Sunday.
The constituencies where campaigning has been curtailed are – Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar said, it is for the first time that such an action has been taken using constitutional powers of the poll panel.
The Commission also ordered the removal of State’s Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director General, CID, Rajeev Kumar from their posts.
Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain said, Atri Bhattacharya stands relieved from his current charge immediately for having interfered in the process of conducting elections by directing the state chief electoral officer, which he was not supposed to do.
The state chief secretary will look after the charge of the home secretary. Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain said Rajeev Kumar has been attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi and should report to his new assignment on Thursday. Election Commission also expressed deep anguish at the vandalism done to the statue of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
BJP President Amit Shah alleged that Mamata Banerjee’s TMC was involved in vandalising the bust and unleashing violence during his roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also accused Mamata Banerjee of indulging in politics of violence. Addressing a rally at Taki in North 24 Pargana district, PM Modi said the violence reflects that the TMC chief is scared of people’s support to the BJP.
Reacting to the development, West Bengal Chief Minister described the Election Commission’s decision as unconstitutional and unethical. Mamta Banerjee said, there is no such law and order problem in the state to apply Article 324.