Campaigning for the nine seats in Bengal voting on May 19 will end tomorrow night
The campaign for the last round of voting in Bengal has been cut short by the Election Commission after violence at BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday evening. For the first time, the powerful election body has used Article 324 of the Constitution, which gives it the powers of “superintendence, direction and control of elections”.
Campaigning for the nine seats in Bengal which will vote on May 19 will end tomorrow night at 10 pm, a day early. It would have ended at 5 pm on Friday. The Election Commission also ordered the removal of two senior officers — Principal Secretary (Home) and Additional Director General, CID (Criminal Investigation department).
The decision came as the political fight between the BJP and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee escalated over the vandalizing of a statue of iconic 19th century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Both parties accused each other of inciting the violence and desecrating the statue.
The Election Commission said it was “deeply anguished at the vandalism done to the statue” of an icon who, “besides his many other achievements as a philosopher, academic educator, writer and philanthropist, worked all his life in the cause of widow remarriage which was unthought and unheard of in the ultraconservative society in those days.”
Earlier today, Amit Shah had accused the Trinamool of attacking his roadshow as part of a “conspiracy”. Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien, in turn, called the BJP chief “Dhokabaaz” and “pukeworthy”. He also complained to the Election Commission, submitted what he called video proof that the BJP was behind the vandalism.
In Bengal, where the Trinamool and the BJP are locked in an intense battle for 42 Lok Sabha seats, every round of voting has seen violence and clashes between rival activists.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.