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Election Commission advises Bengal Governor against visiting Cooch Behar on polling day | Here's why

The people of 102 Lok Sabha constituencies across 21 states and union territories (UTs) will go to the poll in the first phase of voting on Friday (April 19).

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Kolkata Updated on: April 17, 2024 18:01 IST
Lok Sabha Elections
Image Source : PTI (FILE) West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The Election Commission has advised West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose to cancel his planned visit to Cooch Behar on the eve of the first phase of Lok Sabha polls, citing a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), sources said on Wednesday.

Polling is set to take place in Cooch Behar on April 19, with the 48-hour silence period, during which campaigning is prohibited, commencing on Wednesday evening.

"Having come to know of the proposed tour of West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose on April 18 and 19 to Cooch Behar, where polling is scheduled on April 19 and silence period is starting from this evening, the Election Commission (EC) has advised that the proposed tour may not be undertaken," the sources said.

Here's what Election Commission said

The Election Commission (EC) has highlighted that, under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), no local program can be organised for the Governor as proposed in his issued programme, according to communication sent to the office of the Governor.

Additionally, the commission has acknowledged that the entire district administration and police force will be occupied with election management during April 18 and 19.

The proposed visit of the Governor would divert district administration and police personnel from their time-bound poll-related duties, as they would need to provide protocol and local security cover to the "unexpected" proposed visit "without an imminently known requirement".

As per Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951, the "silence period" for Cooch Behar commences from 6 pm on April 17, which brings in a multitude of restrictions and a higher level of enforcement by election authorities, the sources said.

The Election Commission has instructed all district election officers and district police chiefs to ensure that high-profile persons, campaigners and political workers, who are not voters in the election area, exit immediately at the beginning of the "silence period" to ensure a free and fair poll process, the sources observed.

(With PTI inputs)

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