Elections

EC Advises WB Guv Against Visiting Cooch Behar As It Violates Model Code: Sources

Polling is scheduled in Cooch Behar on April 19 and the 48-hour silence period when campaigning is barred begins on Wednesday evening.

PTI
EC Advises WB Guv Against Visiting Cooch Behar As It Violates Model Code: Sources Photo: PTI
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The Election Commission has advised the West Bengal governor to call off his proposed tour of Cooch Behar on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls' first phase as it was violative of the Model Code of Conduct, sources said on Wednesday.

Polling is scheduled in Cooch Behar on April 19 and the 48-hour silence period when campaigning is barred begins on Wednesday evening.

Having come to know of the proposed tour of West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose on April 18 and 19 to Cooch Behar, where polling is scheduled on April 19 and silence period is starting from this evening, the Election Commission (EC) has advised that the proposed tour may not be undertaken, the sources said.

Under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), no local programme can be organised for the governor as proposed in his issued programme, the EC noted in its communication to the office of the governor.

The commission has also noted that the entire district administration and police force will be occupied in election management during April 18 and 19.

The visit of the governor would be a diversion for them from time-bound poll-related work as they will have to provide protocol and local security cover to the "unexpected" proposed visit "without an imminently known requirement".

According to Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951, the "silence period" for Cooch Behar starts from 6 pm April 17, which brings in a multitude of restrictions and a higher level of enforcements by election authorities, the sources said.

The EC has issued standing instructions to all district election officers and district police chiefs to ensure that all high-profile persons, campaigners and political workers, who are not voters of that election area, exit immediately on beginning of the "silence period" to ensure a free and fair poll process, the sources observed.

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