Posted on May 16, 2019, 4:55 PM IST
IN AN UNPRECEDENTED MOVE, ARTICLE 324 INVOKED BY THE ELECTION COMMISSION
In the wake of the unrest caused due to a scuffle between the BJP and TMK workers during Amit Shah's roadshow in Kolkata, the Election Commission has decided to address the issue in the most unprecedented manner. The EC has invoked article 324 in order to downsize the number campaigning days in the nine constituencies of West Bengal by one.
The invocation of the special article 324 came in after an increasing number of cases of violent unrest and non-co operation from the district administration and the district police for the ongoing bouts of campaigning. According to article 324 as stated and quoted in the constitution of India :-
"The power of superintendence, direction, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission. The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President
When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission
Before each general election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of each State, and before the first general election and thereafter before each biennial election to the Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission by clause ( 1 )
Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine; Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment: Provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner
The President, or the Governor of a State, shall, when so requested by the Election Commission, make available to the Election Commission or to a Regional Commissioner such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the Election Commission “
The campaigning shall now end on 10 pm Thursday. Chandra Bhushan Kumar, who is the deputy Election Commissioner has quoted that, "This would be the first time when EC has invoked Article 324 in this manner but it may not be the last in cases of repetition of lawlessness and violence which vitiate the conduct of polls in a peaceful and orderly manner”
Additional Director General (CID) Rajeev Kumar and Principal Secretary, Atri Bhattacharya have also been relieved from their duties after the widespread violence in Kolkata during which a bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, who was a prominent figure in the Bengali Renaissance, was also brutally ravaged.
Mamata Banerjee who is the reigning Chief Minister of the region and the TMK chief smells foul play behind this decision and quoted that “There is no such law and order problem in West Bengal that Article 324 can be clamped... This is not the EC's direction; it is the BJP's direction. This is the direction of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The EC's decision is unfair, unethical and politically biased. Are you waiting for Prime Minister Modi to finish his two rallies tomorrow (Thursday)? You could have stopped campaigning from today (Wednesday) evening ? ”
As India goes to polls, the country has definitely become a stomping ground to hate politics. The results for the same remain to be seen.