Elections 2019 - Observers Overruled On Immediate Bengal Campaign Ban? Poll Body Clarifies
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Elections 2019 - Observers Overruled On Immediate Bengal Campaign Ban? Poll Body Clarifies

By Ndtv calender  17-May-2019

Elections 2019 - Observers Overruled On Immediate Bengal Campaign Ban? Poll Body Clarifies

Election Commission observers had recommended that the campaign for the last round of voting in West Bengal for the ongoing national polls should end immediately following the violence in Kolkata during a rally by BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday but were overruled, sources have told NDTV. The Election Commission, in an official statement however, contested this saying it was "not the observers' brief to suggest deadlines".
In an unprecedented decision on Wednesday, the Election Commission had said that parties will have to wrap up their campaign for the nine seats in the state, which will vote on May 19, by 10 pm on Thursday - 19 hours before the usual deadline.
While the BJP hailed the Commission's decision as validation of their complaint that Bengal has descended into anarchy, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it was "undemocratic" and a "gift for BJP" since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had two more rallies scheduled on Thursday.
"Tomorrow, Modi has two meetings in Bengal. When he finishes, the campaigning also ends... Instead of punishing Amit Shah, the Election Commission has given a gift to the BJP," Ms Banerjee said on Wednesday, calling the decision "unethical, unconstitutional, undemocratic and biased".
Though Election Commission sources have said the last-minute window was not designed to help one particular party, NDTV has learnt that the report by poll body's central observers filed on Wednesday was not in favour of this grace period.

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