BJP candidate from Habra in West Bengal Rahul Sinha will not be allowed to campaign for 48 hours for his controversial remarks on the Cooch Behar firing incident which claimed four lives, said the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday (April 13). The EC has also served a notice to state BJP president Dilip Ghosh for warning of “more Cooch Behar-like incidents in future”.
The violence at Sitalkuchi, Cooch Behar, on polling day claimed five lives, including four who were shot dead by the central forces.
Rahul Sinha had allegedly said during an election rally on Monday (April 12) that instead of four, eight people should have been killed by the central forces in Sitalkuchi. The EC’s ban starts from Tuesday noon till 12 pm on April 15.
The TMC had on Monday filed a complaint with the Election Commission against Ghosh and Sinha, seeking legal action against them for their comments.
A day before, the Election Commission had imposed a similar ban on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her appeal to gherao central forces guarding the polling booths during the assembly polls.
Dilip Ghosh, known for making sensational and often controversial statements, had warned that more Cooch Behar-like incidents may happen if “naughty boys like the ones who received bullets in Sitalkuchi” try to take the law into their hands.
The Election Commission has told Ghosh to submit an explanation on his remarks by 10 am on Wednesday.
The CISF firing at Sitalkuchi has become a political issue in the Bengal elections. CM Mamata Banerjee termed it a “genocide”, while Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused her of doing “appeasement politics” over the dead. Mamata Banerjee said the Election Commission’s decision to not allow politicians in Cooch Behar district for 72 hours was an attempt to “suppress facts” and said she will disobey the ban and visit Sitalkuchi on April 14.