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In a first, EC invokes Article 324 in West Bengal: What you should know


New Delhi, May 15: In the first such action in India's electoral history, the EC on May 15 ordered campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 p.m. on May 16, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Kolkata on May 14.

Police intervene after BJP supporters and TMC activists clash. Photo credit: PTI

The EC invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election on May 19.

What is the EC order?

Through its order issued on Wednesday, the agency ruled that no person will be allowed to "(a) convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election, (b) display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or similar apparatus, or (c) propagate any election matter to the public by holding, or by arranging the holding of, any musical concert... or any other entertainment with a view to attract members of the public".

Here's the full text of the Article 324, as defined in the Constitution of India:

324. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission

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

(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution shall be vested in a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission).

(2) The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President.

(3) When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission.

(4) Before each general election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of each State, and before the first general election and thereafter before each biennial election to the Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission by clause (1).

(5) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine:

Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment:

Provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.

(6) The President, or the Governor of a State, shall, when so requested by the Election Commission, make available to the Election Commission or to a Regional Commissioner such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the Election Commission by clause (1).

Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Amit Shah's massive road show in Kolkata. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also vandalised during the violence.

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