West Bengal Lok Sabha Elections

MASSIVE: EC Cracks Whip, Cuts Short Phase 7 Campaigning In West Bengal By 24 Hours And Sacks Mamata Banerjee's Loyalists Rajeev Kumar And Atri Bhattacharya

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:


  • The EC has cut short campaigning in Bengal ahead of the seventh phase of elections by 24 hours
  • The poll body has also announced personnel changes effectively sacking two top West Bengal government officers
  • The unprecedented decision comes against the backdrop of violence being witnessed in all six phases of elections in the state as well as just 24 hours earlier at Amit Shah's Kolkata roadshow

In a massive decision that comes against the backdrop of violence being witnessed in each of the six phases of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal thus far, the Election Commission decreed on Wednesday that election campaigning for the seventh phase in the state would be suspended 24 hours ahead of the earlier allotted time, and announced key personnel decisions in relation.

Here are the three big decisions of the Election Commission:

  1. That election campaigning of all forms in the state would be suspended by 10 pm on Thursday, May 16, and remain suspended till the end of the polls.
  2. 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.
  3. That 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's what the Election Commission said in its briefing:

"No person shall convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting in connection with an election or display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, TV or other similar apparatus or propagate any election matter to the public by way of any musical concert or any other amusement with a view to attracting people, for these elections.

No liquor or any such material will be distributed or served in polling areas in nine constituencies - Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jainagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadhavpur, Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar from 10 pm on May 16 till the conclusion of polls.

This will be the first time that EC has invoked Article 324 in this manner but it may not be the last in case of violence that vitiates the polls.

EC is dismayed at the destruction of the bust of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar.(which took place during the clashes that broke out at Amit Shah's poll rally on Tuesday)"

The Election Commission's briefing comes just about 24 hours after shocking violence was witnessed at BJP chief Amit Shah's poll rally in Kolkata, following which West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday undertook a protest march. Violence of various forms was also witnessed in each of the six phases of the Lok Sabha polls that have been held in the state thus far.