Clashes in Bengal: Election Commission invokes Article 324

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Clashes in Bengal: Election Commission invokes Article 324
Clashes in Bengal: Election Commission invokes Article 324

Kolkata : The Election Commission on Wednesday invoked Article 324 of the constitution in the West Bengal after reports of clashes in the state. It will come into effect from 10 pm on Thursday until the conclusion of the Lok Sabha Election 2019.

The decision was taken in view of clashes between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress over the last 24 hours, which resulted in largescale vandalism and damage to an iconic statue of 19th Century social reformer Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.

With the decision, the campaigning in the state will end one day earlier than its scheduled time.

What is Article 324?

Article 324 of the Constitution charts out the various powers and responsibilities of the country's Election Commission for ensuring free-and-fair polling across the country. "The 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 shall be vested in a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission)," the first section of the provision reads.

Implementation of Article 324 for the first time ever

As mentioned in the press release issued by the Election Commission, this is the first time in history when Article 324 has been applied.

Through its order issued on Wednesday evening, the agency ruled that no person will be allowed to "(a) convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election, (b) display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or similar apparatus, or (c) propagate any election matter to the public by holding, or by arranging the holding of, any musical concert... or any other entertainment with a view to attract members of the public".

How did clashes break out?

The clashes in the state broke out during an election road show of Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah; the supporters of BJP and TMC were involved in the scuffle.