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ECI's action to cut short the campaigning in Bengal is very late and inconsequential!
The Election Commission cut short the campaigning in West Bengal by ordering wrapping it up at 10 pm on 16th May instead of the previous scheduled time of 6 pm on 17th May following the political violent confrontation between TMC and BJP workers during Amit Shah's road show in Kolkata on 15th May. During this violence, the 200-year-old statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar was also vandalised. Both the TMC and BJP blame each other for the violence and vandalism.

There are lot of questions regarding this incident of violence. For example, the university was closed, so how did the TMC workers manage to enter the campus in the first place. Secondly, since it was an election road-show, the TMC candidate shouldn't have been allowed to protest and display black flags. In election all parties have the right to do road shows, rallies and campaigns without any blockage or protest by rival parties. This is a prerequisite for a free and fair election.

Some videos also show the BJP workers retaliating to the attacks by TMC cadres. The point is that if the BJP is campaigning against TMC's gundaraj, how its cadres can get involved in similar violent confrontations even if there's a provocation. In Bengal's history, first the Congress ruled through violence then the Left indulged in violence and now the TMC too is practicing the same decade-old violent tactics. If the BJP too follows this retaliatory violence, how can the people of Bengal consider it as an alternative!

It's difficult to say who vandalized the statue of Vidyasagar. The video proof submitted by the TMC shows that the BJP workers are responsible. The BJP on the other hand claims that the CCTV footage will prove who vandalised the statue. Many of my friends in Kolkata have two versions on it. Some say that in the heat of the moment the BJP workers vandalised the statue while some say that the TMC workers vandalised it to blame the BJP. The truth will come out some day but the bottom line is that the statue has been vandalised.

Coming back to the ECI's decision to use Article 324 for the first time; is the ECI biased? Is the poll body being dictated by Modi and Shah? Is the ECI too weak to face such situations? I don't think that the ECI is biased or dictated by Modi and Shah. The suspension on Yogi Adityanath is an approver that ECI takes its decisions independently. However, I would say it's a bit soft.

Everyone in India knows the current situation in Bengal. How the TMC rules inflicting fear in to the people through their cadres. Lot of videos are available in the public domains that show how the TMC workers threaten the public to vote in their favour; how booth riggings are done, how people are not allowed to vote etc. How the BJP workers were killed systematically. The Left and Congress workers too were not spared. TMC leader Mohammad Salim was also assaulted physically. The special observers had already given a report after the second phase that the situation is so terrible that free and fair election in Bengal is not possible. Yet the ECI preferred to handle the situation softly perhaps focussing on the completion of the voting process by hook or crook. However, it had to take some action after the 15th May clash.

The TMC blames that the 16th May deadline favours Narendra Modi's rally. Is it true? Is only Narendra Modi's rally being allowed and all others are denied? No, even Mamata Banerjee and others held rallies on 16th May. Does Mamata think that Modi's rally will benefit the BJP? If yes, then she should admit that she is no more attractive to Bengal's voters. If no, then why bother on Modi's rallies?

Unfortunately, all other parties like the Congress, the CPM etc. knowing very well what is happening in Bengal, are trying to toe the line of Mamata Banerjee just to get post-poll advantage in case the NDA falls short of majority. That's duality. Had one per cent of such violence happened in any other BJP ruled state, no one would have spared the BJP screaming that democracy is in danger.

The bottom line is that under TMC's rule there can't be free and fair elections. In the upcoming Assembly election, the state must be put under President's rule during the entire period of elections or else violence will rule and democracy will be under threat.

How President's rule can be imposed? I think that the ECI's report can force the SC to order for President's rule or else a proposal for President's rule can be passed in both houses of the Parliament. Former is possible if the NDA doesn't return to power and the latter is possible if the NDA returns to power.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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