The Election Commission on Thursday barred West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party state unit president Dilip Ghosh from campaigning for 24 hours for his remarks on the Cooch Behar firing, reported ANI. Ghosh had warned of more “Sitalkuchi-like instances” if the “bad boys” of Trinamool Congress do not behave in the future.
Ghosh has been banned from campaigning from 7 pm on Thursday till 7 pm on April 16. In its order, the poll panel said Ghosh violated the Model Code of Conduct by making “highly provocative and inciteful remarks” in his election speeches.
During the fourth phase of the West Bengal elections on April 10, four people were killed when central security force personnel opened fire at a polling booth in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district, after some locals allegedly clashed with them. Another person was shot dead that day outside a polling booth in the same district by unidentified men.
On April 11, Ghosh spoke about the incident at a rally, claiming there would be more “Sitalkuchi-like instances”.
The Trinamool Congress had filed a complaint with the Election Commission. The ruling party had said that Ghosh’s comment justified “murder” and demanded that the poll panel initiate legal proceedings against the BJP leader, besides restricting him from campaigning during the ongoing Assembly elections.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission issued a notice to Ghosh. The notice said that Ghosh made provocative statements which could lead to a “breakdown of law and order thereby adversely affecting the election process”. Ghosh was asked to explain his remarks by 10 am on Wednesday.