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EC cuts campaigning time in Bengal after
EC cuts campaigning time in Bengal after Kolkata violence, belligerent Mamata Banerjee spews venom

New Delhi/Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee has been targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party so far in the ongoing Lok Sabha election 2019. On Wednesday, she launched a no-holds-barred attack against Election Commission of India too and levelled allegations both serious and inflammatory.

The EC earlier in the day had decided to invoke Article 324 to cut short campaigning time in West Bengal by 24 hours. The campaign for the nine parliamentary seats in West Bengal which go to vote with 50 others across the country this Sunday will now end at 10 pm Thursday. What prompted EC's unprecedented decision were a series of poll-related violence in the state in the first six phases of voting which eventually peaked in Kolkata where BJP president Amit Shah had held a roadshow on Tuesday. TMC and BJP traded charges through Tuesday night and all of Wednesday, forcing EC to recognise the need for urgent steps. "This is probably the first time that ECI has invoked Article 324 in this manner but it may not be last in cases of repetition of lawlessness and violence which vitiate the conduct of polls in a peaceful manner," it said.

The EC also removed ADG CID Rajeev Kumar and Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya. (Full report here)

While the decision was hailed by several BJP leaders, including Arun Jaitley who said EC had finally recognised the anarchy prevailing in West Bengal, Mamata was left outraged. (updated on May 15th, 2019)