WB elections: EC bans BJP’s Dilip Gosh from campaigning for 24-hours over ‘provocative’ speech
On Thursday, the Election Commission of India imposed a 24-hour ban on BJP West Bengal Chief, Dilip Gosh, restricting him from taking part in any campaigning activity or election rally. The ban was imposed following Gosh’s remark, over CISF’s shooting in Cooch Behar district, which was termed as ‘highly provocative’ and ‘inciteful’.
Gosh made the comments, justifying the CISF shooting, which killed four people, while campaigning for his party during the fourth phase of the state’s assembly elections on April 10. During a rally at Baranagar in the North 24 Parganas district, he said, “From where have the ‘dustu chele’ (bad boys) come? The ones who received bullets in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi yesterday. These bad boys will not remain in Bengal. This is only the beginning. Those who think that the CISF carry guns just for show are mistaken. If anyone takes law into his own hands, he will receive a befitting reply.“
Gosh added, “Central forces will be deployed in booths and no one will be allowed to threaten them. If things go out of hand, there will be more Sitalkuchi-like incidents in many places. So beware.”
The polling panel imposed the ban after a complaint was filed by the state’s ruling party Trinamool Congress (TMC). The EC forbade Gosh from participating in any campaign-related public meeting starting from 7 pm Thursday till 7 pm Friday. The polling authority said that Gosh’s comments not only violated the Model Code of Conduct, but could even impact the law and order condition of the state, where polling was still underway.
Besides Gosh, another BJP leader, Rahul Sinha, also received campaign ban of 48 hours from the polling body for his “inflammatory, inciting statements” and for allegedly “instigating violence against the electorate in West Bengal”. With respect to the CISF’s Cooch Behar shooting, Sinha said that the security personnels should have killed more people in Sitalkuchi.
In response to the EC’s ban, Gosh said, “I will abide by the Election Commission’s order and not stage any dharna on the streets.” Gosh indirectly took a shot at TMC leader and WB chief minister, Mamta Banerjee, who refused to abide the EC’s 24 hour-campaigning ban imposed on her for her comments made against the central forces and for making remarks with religious overtones.