EC Imposes 24-Hr Campaign Ban on Mamata, CM Announces Dharna

The ban will be in force from 8 pm on 12 April till 8 pm on 13 April.

Updated
West Bengal
2 min read
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. 
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The Election Commission on Monday, 12 April, imposed a 24-hour campaigning ban on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her “highly insinuating” and “provocative remarks,” which the poll body said were laden with “serious potential of breakdown of law and order.”

Calling the ban undemocratic and unconstitutional, the chief minister voiced her protest against the EC notice by announcing a dharna.

“I will sit on dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Murti, Kolkata from 12 noon,” Banerjee wrote in a tweet.

The EC, accusing the CM of ‘selective amnesia’, noted that the CM violated provisions under the Model Code of Conduct, sections 123(3) and (3A) of the Representation of the People Act, and 1951 and 186, 189 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

“The commission hereby condemns such statements portent with serious law and order problem across the state and sternly warns Ms Banerjee and advises her to desists from using such statements while making public utterances during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force,” the notice read.

The ban will be in force from 8 pm on 12 April till 8 pm on 13 April.

Polling for the high-stakes West Bengal Assembly elections is taking place across eight phases, with voting having concluded in four.

‘Black Day in Our Democracy’: TMC Reacts

Reacting to the political development, TMC leader Derek O’Brien took to social media platform Twitter and said that 12 April was a black day in our democracy. In another tweet, he wrote:

Derek O’Brien’s tweet.
Derek O’Brien’s tweet.
(Source: Twitter)

TMC MP Dr Kakoli G Dastidar wrote in Bengali, “Mamata Banerjee's voice cannot be stopped with a ban. Her voice is the voice of ten crore people of Bengal.”

The results for the elections will be announced on 2 May, along with those for Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, and Puducherry.

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