AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has questioned the Election Commission’s decision to curtail campaigning in West Bengal for the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Owaisi tweeted that in line with principles of natural justice, a similar decision should also be taken with regard to campaigning in eastern Uttar Pradesh. He, however, did not explain the reason for his demand to curtail campaigning in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“@ECISVEEP why only West Bengal, Natural Justice & Fair Play demands it should have been for entire 7th Phase why only West Bengal, why not for Eastern UP,” Owaisi’s tweet reads.
In an unprecedented move, the Election Commission on Wednesday evening ordered that campaigning in nine parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal will end at 10 pm on Thursday, 24 hours before its scheduled deadline.
“There will be no election campaign in 9 Parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal from 10 pm Thursday till the conclusion of polls on May 19,” an EC official told reporters at a press conference.
All these nine constituencies (Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata South and Kolkata North) will go to polls in the last and seventh phase on May 19. Campaigning, however, in 50 more seats spread across seven states will end at 5 pm on Friday.
The EC invoked for the first time Article 324 of the Constitution which grants the poll body special powers to control and give directions for holding elections. The commission also removed with immediate effect the state’s Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya for having interfered in the poll process and relieved IPS officer Rajeev Kumar from his post of ADG CID. Kumar was also asked to report for duty in the Home Ministry on Thursday.
The EC took this decision in the wake of violence in Kolkata during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday. The poll body said that decision to curtail campaigning has been taken in order to ensure free, fair, transparent, non-violent, ethical elections during May 19 polling.