Bengal Elections 2021: EC bans Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh from campaigning for 24 hours

The ban over BJP leader Dilip Ghosh comes for his remarks on the killings of four men in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi assembly constituency on April 10.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday ordered a ban on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh from campaigning for 24 hours. The recent order was passed by the EC after it saw Ghosh violated the Model Code of Conduct, prohibiting him from campaigning from 7 pm on April 15 to 7 pm on April 16, reported ANI.

“Election Commission of India (ECI) imposes a 24 hour ban on West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh for violation of Model Code of Conduct, prohibits him from campaigning from 7 pm on April 15 to 7 pm on April 16,” Election Commission said on Thursday as reported by the news agency ANI.

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The ban over BJP’s Bengal unit chief comes two days after the poll officials sent him a notice for his remarks on the killings of four men in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi assembly constituency on April 10.

EC in its notice said that he violated the Model Code of Conduct by making “highly provocative and inciteful remarks” in his election speeches.

The firing at Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders in Cooch Behar sparked tensions in West Bengal leading to political outbursts across the entire state. While the TMC has described the killings as a “genocide,” the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) whose troopers opened fire, reportedly said that its Quick Reaction Team (QRT) was surrounded by an “armed mob,” forcing it to open fire in self-defence.

Addressing a public rally in Barangar, on April 11, a day after the incident, Ghosh reportedly said, “….Those who thought that the central forces ‘ rifles were meant to be just for the show have well understood now the power of cartridges. And this will be carried on throughout Bengal. Those who will take the law in their own hands will be given a befitting answer. ”

“I hope that you all will queue up to cast your votes in the morning on 17 April. Central forces will be there in the booths. No one can show you an angry eye. Because we are here. And if someone crosses his limits then you have seen what happened in Shitalkuchi. There will be Shitalkuchi in several places,” Ghosh added.

The EC in its notice to Ghosh further added that it was of the view that he violated the model code of conduct, Section 123 (3A) of Representation of the People Act, 1951 and Section 153A of the IPC (the latter two dealing with promoting communal hatred).

Earlier, the poll panel had let off the Nandigram candidate Suvendu Adhikari for his ‘Begum’ and ‘mini-Pak’ remarks during a March 29 speech with a warning and advice to desist from using such statements in his public utterances during the election period.