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WB polls: 24-hr ban on Mamata; will protest EC order, she says

Our Bureau New Delhi / Kolkata | Updated on April 12, 2021

The Election Commission has imposed a 24-hour ban on campaigning by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee violating the model code of conduct by making provocative speeches with “potential to break law and order”.

The ban will be in place from from 8 pm on Monday.

The West Bengal Chief Minister, while acknowledging the order, said she will “sit on a dharna”.

Election Commission Secretary Rakesh Kumar said in an order on Monday that her speeches asking minorities to keep away from those who want to divide their votes violates the code of conduct and Sections 186, 189 and 505 of Indian Penal Code.

The Commission said it has carefully considered the matter and ruled that the Trinamool Congress supremo made “highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with serious potential of breakdown of law and order” and her remarks adversely affected the election process.

Condemning such remarks, the Commission warned Banerjee and advised her to desist from using such statements while making public utterances during the period when MCC is in force.

Mamata to protest

Banerjee put out a tweet saying: “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.”

Minutes before this, her party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP, Derek O Brien, put out two tweets, without mentioning the ban, accusing: “Black day for democracy.... EC stands for Extremely Compromised.”

Published on April 12, 2021

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