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Allegations fly as ECI cuts short poll campaigning in West Bengal

Allegations fly as ECI cuts short poll campaigning in West Bengal

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 May 2019, 11:09 pm

Kolkata, May 15 (IBNS): Allegations flew thick and fast following the Election Commission's decision to end election campaigning on Thursday night, instead of Friday, because of the absence of "a level playing field to all candidates" owing to state government pressure. The decision comes a day after a rally led by Amit Shah turned violent on Tuesday with BJP cadres clashing with Trinamool ones in North Kolkata.

A statue of Bengal renaissance icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasadar was damaged inside Vidyasagar College. Both the BJP and the Trinamool blame the other for it.

Shortly after the decision, BJP leader Arun Jaitley tweeted: "A free campaign is not possible and therefore the campaign has to be cut short. This is a classical case of breakdown of the Constitutional Machinery."

Reacting to the development, Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the ending of campaigning a day ahead of schedule was the Election Commission's reward to Narendra Modi for smashing a statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

"For breaking Vidyasagar's statue, the Election Commission has rewarded Narendra Modi," Mamata said at a news conference on Wednesday evening after the poll panel's notification.

Saying it was a "terrible conspiracy", Mamata said she had not felt so humiliated ever in her life.

"We were not even given an opportunity to speak," she said. "You cannot take over an elected government, Election Commission."

Mamata appealed to everyone to vote against the BJP.

She alleged the Election Commission had announced the decision keeping in mind the BJP's campaign schedule in West Bengal.

Congress leader Ahmed Patel echoed Mamata's words.

"If situation in Bengal is so severe that campaigning must be stopped, why is EC waiting until tomorrow? Is it because PM has scheduled rallies tomorrow?" he said.

Allegations fly as ECI cuts short poll campaigning in West Bengal

India Blooms News Service
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