Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Provocativ­e remark on Sitalkuchi killings: EC bans Dilip Gosh from campaignin­g for 24 hrs, show-causes BJP leader Sayantan Basu


KOLKATA: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday banned state BJP President Dilip Ghosh from campaignin­g for 24 hours, taking a serious note of his provocativ­e speech in connection with the incident where the Central forces had open fire at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district on April 10 killing four persons. Besides warning Ghosh to abstain from making such remarks, the commission imposed a ban of 24 hours from 7 pm on April 15 to 7 pm on April 16.

The Commission had earlier issued a show cause notice to the state BJP chief after he courted controvers­y on Sunday by saying that more Cooch Behar-like killings may happen if “naughty boys like the ones who received bullets in Sitalkuchi” try to take the law into their hands.

The poll panel’s action against Ghosh came as it felt that such public statements are “provocativ­e” and can “seriously incite” the emotions and lead to “breakdown” of law and order affecting the Assembly election process in the state.

The poll panel was not satisfied with his reply and found him guilty of violating ‘clauses (1) and (4) of Part I of General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates. The transcript of the speech made by Ghosh mentioned: “Central forces will be there in the booths. No one can show you an angry eye. Because we are here. And if someone crosses his limits then you have seen what happened in Sitalkuchi. There will be Sitalkuchi in several places. So be careful...” The Commission on Thursday also show-caused BJP leader Sayantan Basu for his inflammato­ry speech at a public rally in Baranagar, North 24-Parganas, a few days back in connection with the firing of CISF jawans at Sitalkuchi- the same issue for which Ghosh was barred. The transcript of Basu's speech can be read as “I, Sayantan Basu am here to tell you that don't try to play too much. We will play the game of Sitalkuchi…”

The Commission has asked him to explain his stand within 24 hours of receipt of the notice, failing which the poll panel will take a decision without further reference to him.

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