NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented decision, the Election Commission on Wednesday ordered that campaigning for the final round of the Lok Sabha polls on Sunday will halt in West Bengal at 10 pm on Thursday.
The campaigning would have originally ended at 5 pm on Friday — as it would do in the rest of the country which will see voting on Sunday.
The announcement follows violence in Kolkata during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday.
The Election Commission (EC) also relieved with immediate effect West Bengal’s Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya for “having interfered in the process of conducting elections.”
Rajeev Kumar, ADG CID, was also relieved from his post and attached to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi, with orders to report on duty at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
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 9 Parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal from 10 pm tomorrow till the conclusion of polls,” an EC official said at a press conference here.
The campaigning would have normally ended at 5 p.m. on Friday, like at the 50 other seats across six states and one Union Territory which go to the polls in the final phase on May 19. (IANS)
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