ECI adopts tough posture, halts proposed tour of West Bengal governor to Cooch Behar

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has halted the proposed tour of West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose to Cooch Behar, adopting a tough posture and finding his tour violative of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Sources said that Governor CV Ananda Bose was supposed to travel to Cooch Behar on April 18-19, during the silence period, which violated MCC. According to sources, no imminently known requirement to visit the place will disturb polling officials on the evening of polling.

Having come to know of the proposed tour of the West Bengal Governor to Cooch Behar on April 18-19, where polling is scheduled for April 19 and the silence period is starting this evening, the ECI has advised that the proposed tour may not be undertaken.

Under the Model Code of Conduct and being poll day, no local programme can be organised for the governor, as proposed in his issued programme, the Commission noted in its communication to the office of the governor.

The Commission has also noted that the entire district administration and police force will be fully occupied with election management on April 18-19, 2024 and it would be a diversion for them from time-bound poll-related work if they needed to provide any protocol and local security cover for this unexpected proposed visit without an imminently known requirement.

As per Section 126 of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951, the “silence period” for 1-Cooch Behar starts on April 17, 2024, at 6:00 p.m., which brings, inter alia, a multitude of restrictions and a higher level of enforcement by the election authorities.

The Election Commission of India has issued standing instructions to all District Election Officers and District Police Chiefs to ensure that all high-profile persons, campaigners, and political workers who are not voters of that election area shall exit immediately at the beginning of the “silence period” to ensure a free and fair polling process.

The election for 543 Lok Sabha seats in the country will be held in seven phases starting April 19. (ANI)

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