New Delhi: In wake of clashes between TMC and BJP workers in Kolkata, the Election Commission of India reacted in a strong way issuing strictures on the election campaigning to be wound up one day before the actually campaigning ends for the polling on Sunday.

Invoking the Article 324, the poll body said the campaigning for the nine Lok Sabha seats in Bengal should be wrapped up by Thursday 10 PM, instead of Friday when the campaigning should actually stop for the Sunday’s polling. In fact, this is the first time the ECI is invoking the particular article.

Meanwhile, the decision by ECI has fueled controversy as to why ECI decided not to stop the campaigning immediately but a day after. It is alleged that the decision to stop the campaigning a day after was only to let Prime Minister Narendra Modi carry on with his two rallies scheduled to be held on Thursday in West Bengal.

Accusing the ECI of favouring the ruling party, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury pointedly asked: “If the ban is intended for 72 hours, why is it starting from at 10 Pm tomorrow (Thursday)? Is it to allow two rallies of PM before that?”

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