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Mamata tears into EC over stopping campaigning in WB early, says poll body acting at BJP’s behest

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Kolkata, May 15: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday lashed out at the Election Commission (EC) over its decision to ban campaigning in the state a day earlier and accused the poll body of acting under the orders of the BJP.

She alleged that the EC drafted poll schedule according to the campaign schedule of Modi.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

"The Election Commission is biased. Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed how many phases he wanted the elections to be conducted in, and the Election Commission announced the phases accordingly," said Banerjee.

In the wake of poll-related violence in the state, the EC today issued an order to ban campaigning in West Bengal for Nine seats which would vote on May 19 on Thursday night 10 pm, a day earlier.

"This is Modi's and Amit Shah's election. During this time, the EC has kept state forces in the dark. The BJP is trying to spread panic. Action should be taken against Amit Shah and the goons implicated in the incident. But none of that has been done. Because Amit Shah threatened the EC in a press conference, they have taken this step," she further said.

Congress' Ahmed Patel also slammed the EC's decision and asked "Why is EC waiting until tomorrow?"

"If situation in Bengal is so severe that campaigning must be stopped, why is EC waiting until tomorrow? Is it because PM has scheduled rallies tomorrow?" Patel tweeted.

[EC swings into action, bans poll campaign in Bengal a day earlier]

The EC invoked Article 324 of the Constitution and banned all election-related gatherings in the state. The decision comes a day after violence at BJP president Amit Shah's roadshow that has triggered a war of words between the TMC and the BJP.

Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, South and North Kolkata Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal are to vote on 19 May in the last round of general elections.

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