New Delhi, May 16: A day after Election Commission of India (ECI) curtailed the campaign period in West Bengal for the final phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress has termed the move as "a parting gift to PM Modi and BJP" and a "dark spot on India's democracy".
While addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the ECI has allowed the campaigning till 10 pm today to ensure that the two-pre announced rallies of PM Modi in Mathurapur and Dum Dum parliamentary constituencies are not affected.
The campaigning was originally scheduled to end at 5 PM on Friday as nine constituencies of the state would go to polls on May 19.
In India's electoral history, ECI for the first time on Wednesday invoked Article 324 of the constitution to cut short the campaigns citing "an atmosphere of fear and hatred" in West Bengal.
Earlier on Tuesday, a violence broke out during BJP president Amit Shah's road show in Kolkata.
" This appears to be ECI's partimg gift top Prime Minister Modi and BJP in order to ensure that the two pre-announce election rallies of PM Modi in Mathurapur and Dum Dum in afternoon and eveing today are not hit by the EC's order," he said.
He claimed that Congress has filed over 11 complaints with Modi and Shah with the ECI for alleged violation of Model Code of Conduct, but no action was taken. The party also said that the appointment of the Election Commissioner should be brought under the scanner.
"Time has come to review the appointment of the Election Commissioner and it should be brought under the scanner. The appointment of the Election Commissioner must not be at the whims of the government to pick their loyalists...There is a need for fair process for selection of the ECi. After May 23 when our government will come, we will review it," he added.
News24 Bureau with Agencies
Image Courtesy: Google