The poll panel issued a notice to the West Bengal BJP president on April 13, finding his statement at a public rally in Barangar to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
The Election Commission of India on April 15 imposed a 24-hour campaigning ban on West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh over his statement that the firing by central forces in Sitalkuchi on April 10 was just the beginning.
The ECI issued a notice to Mr. Ghosh on April 13, finding his statement at a public rally in Barangar, North 24 Parganas to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
“Where did so many naughty boys come from? Those naughty boys were shot at yesterday in Sitalkuchi. These naughty boys will not be there in Bengal. This is just the beginning. Those who thought that the Central forces’ rifles were meant to be just for show have well understood now the power of cartridges. And this will be carried on throughout Bengal,” Mr. Ghosh said, according to the ECI notice.
In his response to the notice, the ECI said, Mr. Ghosh said leaders of the All-India Trinamool Congress had created an “environment of fear and intimidation” and that as a state party president, it was his responsibility to encourage voters to vote without fear. He said his statement was directed at “miscreants and anti-socials” who create law and order problems. But, he added that he regretted the remarks and would be careful in the future.
The ECI, however, said it found his remarks to be “highly provocative and inciteful” with a potential to impact law and order, and the election process. Barring him for campaigning from 7 p.m. on April 15 till the same time on April 16, the ECI advised him to refrain from making similar statements while the MCC is in force. Four rounds of polling in the eight-phase West Bengal elections are still to take place.