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EC cuts short phase seven campaigning in West Bengal after Kolkata violence

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 15, May 2019, 21:14 pm IST | UPDATED: 18, May 2019, 16:30 pm IST

EC cuts short phase seven campaigning in West Bengal after Kolkata violence Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 PM on Thursday night, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata. Polling is schedule to take place for nine Lok Sabha seats of the state on May 19, the seventh and last phase of the ongoing general elections.

No campaigning will be held in nine Lok Sabha constituencies -- Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, South and North Kolkata -- from 10 pm tomorrow till the conclusion of polls, the poll panel said.
The EC invoked, for the first time, Article 324 of the Constitution, which gives the poll panel special powers to control and give directions for holding elections. "There will be no election campaign in the nine Parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal from 10 p.m. tomorrow till the conclusion of polls," an EC official said at a press conference here.

The decisions have been "taken as an action on violence in West Bengal on Tuesday," the EC official said. "The Election Commission is deeply anguished over the vandalisation of Vidyasagar's statue," the official added.

"This is probably the first time that the EC has invoked Article 324 in this manner, but it may not be the last in case of repetition of lawlessness and violence which vitiate the conduct of polls in a peaceful manner," the official said.

The EC also ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) and Additional Director General, CID from their postings in West Bengal.

The EC also said that the Chief Secretary of the state will look after the charge of the Principal Secretary (Home).

The campaigning would have originally ended at 5 p.m. on Friday -- as it would do in the rest of the country.

The TMC and the BJP have traded charges of inciting the violence during BJP president Amit Shah's massive road show in the state capital on Tuesday.

During the violence, a bust of Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised.