Banned for 24 hours, Mamata Banerjee to resume campaigning tonight
Earlier in the day, she will stage a sit-in protest near the Gandhi statue in central Kolkata against the Election Commission for imposing the ban on her
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will start her poll campaign soon after the 24-hour ban, imposed on her a day ago by the Election Commission (EC), ends at 8pm on Tuesday, Trinamool Congress leaders said.
Earlier in the day, she will stage a sit-in protest in central Kolkata against the EC. The EC imposed the ban on the TMC chief for her “highly insinuating and provocative remarks” which, the poll body said, could affect the election process.
“She would hold a sit-in protest near the Gandhi statue in central Kolkata around 12noon. Soon after the ban period ends at 8pm, she would hold two public rallies in North 24 Parganas,” said a TMC leader.
While the first rally would be held at 8.15pm at Barasat, the second one would kick off from 9pm at Bidhannagar.
The fifth phase elections, in which 45 assembly seats would be going to polls, are scheduled for April 17. “The EC has already increased the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours for the fifth phase. All political campaigns for the fifth phase would have to be stopped on April 14, instead of April 15. So, there is no time to lose,” said the TMC leader.
Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah who is camping in Bengal to bolster the party’s campaign ahead of the fifth phase, is also scheduled to hold three public rallies and lead a roadshow.
“While two public meetings and a roadshow are scheduled in north Bengal districts, the fourth one is scheduled in Bidhannagar near Kolkata,” said a BJP leader.
Elections to 135 seats out of the 294 assembly constituencies have already been held in the first four phases. Counting of votes would be held on May 2.