Kolkata: A delegation of opposition parties on Thursday met the Election Commission and urged it to reconsider its decision to end the campaigning early in West Bengal in the wake of violence during BJP President Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The delegation, led by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi and comprising the Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh and the Telugu Desam Party’s K. Rama Mohan Rao, also sought action against those responsible for the violence during the roadshow.
“We urge that the Commission re-considers its decision and penalize the one who propagated the violence and violated its electoral laws in such a blatant manner. Punishing those who are innocent by taking such an arbitrary decision will result in a grotesque precedent being set,” the delegation said in its memorandum submitted to the commission.
Later, talking to reporters, Singhvi said they didn’t receive any satisfactory answer from the electoral body.”The violence has been done by the people of the BJP and we have not got a satisfactory answer from the Election Commission. We reserve our options…,” he said.
He said the non-BJP and non-NDA parties have alleged that breaking the statue of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and the “riots” during the roadshow was the direct responsibility of the BJP.
The Congress leader said without any quasi-judicial procedure, the Election Commission had cut short campaigning in West Bengal. In an unprecedented step, the Election Commission curtailed the poll campaign in the state by a day as it ordered stoppage of electioneering from 10 p.m. on Thursday on the remaining 9 Lok Sabha constituencies going to the polls on May 19.
The poll body invoked for the first time Article 324 of the Constitution which gives it special powers to control and give directions for holding elections.