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In a first, EC orders curtailment of campaign in Bengal, removes 2 top officials

IANS  |  New Delhi 

In an unprecedented step, the on Wednesday ordered end to poll campaign from 10 p.m. on Thursday in West Bengals remaining 9 constituencies which go to the polls on May 19, cutting it short by a day in view of the widespread violence witnessed in the state.

The (EC) also relieved with immediate effect West Bengal's (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 from 10 p.m. tomorrow till the conclusion of polls," an 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.

The decisions have been "taken as an action on violence in on Tuesday," the said.

"The is deeply anguished over the vandalisation of Vidyasagar's statue," the added.

The decision comes a day after widespread violence was witnessed in during a roadshow conducted by

The constituencies -- Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, (South) and (North) -- are going to the polls in the seventh and last phase of elections on May 19.

"This is probably the first time that the EC has invoked Article 324 in this manner, but it may not be the last in case of repetition of lawlessness and violence which vitiate the conduct of polls in a peaceful manner," the official said.

The EC also said that the will look after the charge of the (Home).

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 15 2019. 20:36 IST
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