With three days left for the seventh and final phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission on Wednesday announced that the elections campaigning for the seventh phase in West Bengal would be suspended for 24 hours ahead of the prescheduled timing, in the aftermath of the violence witnessed in the states during the six phases earlier.
During the presser, the poll body announced that ADG (CID) West Bengal Rajeev Kumar stands relieved of his post and is reassigned to the Home Ministry in New Delhi where he will have to report by 10 am on Thursday. Furthermore, Atri Bhattacharya, Principal Secretary (Home) of the West Bengal government stands removed and his duties will be discharged with the state's Chief Secretary for the time being.
Here is the EC announcing the same:
"Rajeev Kumar ADG (CID) stands relieved and attached to Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi. He shall report at the Ministry of Home Affairs by 10.00 am on May 16, 2019. Atri Bhattacharya, Principal Secretary, Home and Hill Affairs, Government of West Bengal stands relieved from his current charge immediately for having interfered in the process of conducting the elections by directing CEO, West Bengal," the EC notice reads.
Furthermore, the Election Commission suspended campaigning of all forms in West Bengal would be from 10 pm on Thursday, May 16, till the end of the polls on May 19. In the normal course, the campaigning was to end at 5 pm on May 17.
"This would be the first time when ECI has invoked Article 324 in this manner but it may not be the last in cases of repetition of lawlessness and violence which initiate the conduct of polls in a peaceful and orderly manner," said the Election Commission in the notice on Wednesday.
The EC further expressed pain at the vandalism done to the statue of late Shri Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyaya who has conferred the title of 'Vidyasagar' by Sanskrit College, Kolkata.
Read the full notice here: