‘Violation of model code’: EC asks West Bengal governor to cancel Cooch Behar visit

First phase of the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal is due on Apr 19

C.V. Ananda Bose C.V. Ananda Bose

The Election Commission on Wednesday advised West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose to cancel his scheduled visit to North Bengal's Cooch Behar on April 18 and 19 as it violates the model code of conduct. 

The poll body noted that since the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Cooch Behar is due on April 19,  the 48-hour silence period when campaigning is barred begins on Wednesday evening. Since the MCC is in place, no local programme can be organised for the governor, it said.

The Commission further informed the governor’s office 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", the poll panel said.

According to sources, 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.

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