In another turn in the high-octane West Bengal elections, chief minister Mamata Banerjee was banned from campaigning for 24 hours on Monday over poll code violations after her remarks against central forces and a statement which had alleged religious overtones. Mamata has threatened to sit on a dharna in view of the ban.
‘To protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission of India, I will sit on dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Murti, Kolkata from 12 noon," Mamata said in a tweet.
To protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission of India, I will sit on dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Murti, Kolkata from 12 noon.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 12, 2021
The Election Commission cited ‘highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with serious potential of the breakdown of law and order’ as reason for the ban orders.
“Mamata Banerjee has in violation of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct as well as Section 123(3) & 3A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and Sections 186, 189 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 made highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with serious potential of the breakdown of law & order and thereby adversely affecting the election process," the poll body order said. It said that the “commission also imposes a ban of 24 hours on Ms Mamata Banerjee from campaigning in any manner from 8.00 pm of April 12 till 8.00 pm of April 13".
Meanwhile, senior TMC leader Derek O’Brien termed the EC’s move as “a Black Day in our democracy." He also accused the EC of being “Extremely Compromised" and asserted that the ruling party “were winning Bengal."
April 12. BLACK DAY in our democracy.
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) April 12, 2021
Assembly elections in West Bengal began on March 27 and four of the eight phases of the polls have been completed.