West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today began a sit-in on Kolkata's Indira Gandhi Sarani, also known as Red Road, in protest against the Election Commission of India's 24-hour ban on her campaign in the ongoing state assembly polls.
Sitting in a wheelchair on the pavement of Red Road, Mamata started her sit-in protest near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, India's Father of the Nation and an icon of peace and non-violence, at the stroke of noon.
The EC's ban came after Mamata's controversial remarks against central forces and a statement that had alleged religious overtones in "violation" of the model code of conduct for elections.
The EC had yesterday imposed the ban on Mamata's campaigning for 24 hours from 8pm on Monday till 8pm on Tuesday for making "highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with the serious potential of the breakdown of law and order and thereby affecting the election process."
The development came ahead of the fifth phase of the assembly polls in West Bengal on April 17.
Mamata termed the EC ban as "undemocratic and unconstitutional".
The Commission today banned West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rahul Sinha from campaigning for 48 hours over his provocative statements and for "inciting central forces".
Mamata had yesterday sought action against Sinha and West Bengal BJP President chief Dilip Ghosh for what she called "inflammatory" remarks on the Cooch Behar firing by security forces during the fourth phase of polling on April 10 when four persons were killed in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district after a mob attacked a polling booth.