Kolkata (West Bengal): The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday imposed a 24-hour ban on West Bengal BJP leader Sayantan Basu and TMC’s Sujata Mondal from election campaigning.
The EC imposed a ban on Mondal from 7 pm on April 18 to 7 pm on April 19 over her “remarks against Scheduled Caste community in an interview to a TV channel”.
The EC has issued a notice to Mondal on Friday “demeaning the Schedule Caste in West Bengal”.
After her reply, the Commission noted that it has “carefully considered her reply which does not justify the relevant portions of her statement denigrating the Scheduled Caste community in West Bengal and is of the considered view that Sujata Mondal has violated clause (I) of Part I ‘General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates’ through her remarks which could cause tension between different castes thereby adversely affecting the election process”
In her reply, the TMC leader noted, “She proudly belongs to the Scheduled Caste (“SC”) and relates to the pre-existing struggles and sufferings of the SC and holds the community in the highest regard”.
Basu is also banned from campaigning from 7 pm on April 18 to 7 pm on April 19 over his ‘highly provocative remarks’.
The EC issued a notice to him on Thursday, and after his reply, the Commission noted that it has “carefully considered his reply and is of the considered view that he has violated clauses (I) and (4) of Part I ‘General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates and made highly provocative remarks which could have a very serious consequence on the general maintenance of Law and Order thereby adversely affecting the election process.”
In his reply, the BJP leader had submitted, “The alleged statement is being totally misinterpreted by the complainant” and “He never intended to make any statement contravening MCC, the provisions of The Representation of People Act, 1951 and provisions of Indian Penal Code.”
The Commission ‘sternly’ warned both leaders and advised them “to desist from using such statement while making public utterances during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force.”
The first five phases of the eight-phase West Bengal Assembly elections have been already been completed. The sixth phase of the state Assembly polls is scheduled for April 22. Polling for the seventh and the eighth phase will be held on April 26 and April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)