New Delhi: Within hours of the Election Commission suspending all poll campaigning in nine West Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies till May 19, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a press conference and assigned the blame of violence in Kolkata on Tuesday to Amit Shah.

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North Kolkata witnessed a major clash on Tuesday evening between Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party workers during the roadshow of BJP national president Amit Shah. Several were injured in the clash and in the ensuing violence, the bust of social activist Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar kept at Vidyasagar College was also destroyed.

Speaking to the media, Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata said, “Amit Shah created violence through his meeting, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue was vandalized but Modi did not feel sorry for that today. People of Bengal have taken this seriously, action should be taken against Amit Shah.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a no holds barred attack on the BJP and the Prime Minister also fired, “Never seen this type of EC. It’s full of RSS people.”

She furthered her attack by saying that Bengal was targeted because she has the guts to speak against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trading barbs at the Election Commission of India, Banerjee said, “Election Commission is running under the BJP. This is an unprecedented decision. The violence was because of Amit Shah. Why has EC not issued a show-cause notice to him or sacked him?”

On ECI curtailing the campaigning for the last phase of polls in West Bengal, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said it is an “unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical gift” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the poll panel. (The poll body late Wednesday evening announced that all election campaigning scheduled post 10 pm on April 16 stands suspended till the conclusion of polls in wake of violence in Kolkata on Tuesday.)

“There is no such law and order problem in West Bengal that Article 324 can be clamped. It is unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical. It is actually a gift to Modi and (BJP president) Amit Shah,” she claimed.

She explained, “Goons were brought from outside, they created violence wearing saffron, violence similar to when Babri Masjid was demolished.” Banerjee further opined that the Election Commission should have taken action against Amit Shah for Tuesday roadshow violence.

WHAT ECI SAID

In addition to curtailing election campaigning, the poll panel ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director General, CID, Rajiv Kumar from their postings in West Bengal.

It also ordered that no spirituous, fermented and intoxicating liquors or other substances of a like nature shall be sold given or distributed at a hotel, or eaten in the house, shops or any other place public or private within polling areas in nine parliamentary constituencies.

“Election Commission of India is deeply anguished at the vandalism done to the statue of respected late Shri Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay who was conferred the title of Vidyasagar by Sanskrit college Kolkata besides his many other achievements as a philosopher, academic educator, writer and philanthropist,” the ECI official said.

About Atri Bhattacharya, the EC said he “stands relieved from his current charge immediately for having interfered in the process of conducting the elections by directing the Chief Electoral Officer in West Bengal through a letter dated May 13.”

The Chief Secretary of West Bengal will look after Bhattacharya’s charge, the EC said.

 

With inputs from agencies