EC orders early end to the Campaigning in West Bengal

In an unprecedented move, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered to bring an early end to campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal. The ECI has invoked Article 324 for this effect. The decision was taken in the light of incidents of violence being reported in the state.

The decision to curtail campaigning in West Bengal was based on the report submitted by Deputy Election Commissioner.

Article 324 of the Constitution

  • Article 324 of the Constitution states that Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
  • The Election Commission is bestowed with superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution.
  • The Constitution envisions ECI as the reservoir of power, which is invoked whenever the existing legal provisions prove insufficient to deal with extraordinary situations that arise in the conduct of elections.

Earlier Instances

The ECI had invoked Article 324 at least twice during the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections. First to ban the screening of political biopics until the end of the Lok Sabha elections and second to temporarily bar politicians making communally divisive statements from campaigning.

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