Civic polls violence: Left Front lodges fresh complaint with SEC

Senior CPM leader Robin Deb said it was important that the SEC be apprised of the situation before the Left Front parties took their complaints to the ECI.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: December 9, 2015 12:24 am
Left Front Chairman Biman Bose collects funds for workers of North Bengal’s closed tea gardens, in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul) Left Front Chairman Biman Bose collects funds for workers of North Bengal’s closed tea gardens, in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul)

The Left Front Tuesday lodged a formal complaint with the state election commission (SEC) regarding the violence, which took place during the municipal elections in Bidhannagar, Bali and Asansol areas in October.

A five-member delegation led by senior CPM leader Robin Deb lodged the complaint with the state election commissioner A K Singh, who took charge on October 15. The move comes a day before a team of the Election Commission of India (ECI) is scheduled to visit Kolkata on Wednesday.

Deb said it was important that the SEC be apprised of the situation before the Left Front parties took their complaints to the ECI.

“We had made a similar complaint earlier too, but no action was taken by the SEC. This, despite the videographic and other evidence of the violations of the model code, violence and intimidating of the voters. So many voters and journalists were assaulted. Booths were captured by Trinamool Congress goons, often with the collusion and help of the police. In an unprecedented move, the then SEC Sushanta Ranjan Upadhyay had to resign because of the pressure from the ruling TMC and its ministers. Even transport secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, who took over as acting SEC, he reversed Upadhyay’s orders,’’ Deb told The Indian Express.

Deb added that the Left Front has also made a specific allegation against Deputy Commissioner of Police in Bidhannagar, K P Barui. “We believe that Barui indulged the miscreants and helped them capture booths. At least he turned a blind eye, if not anything else,” said the CPM leader.

During an earlier visit to Kolkata, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had said that one of the main concerns that the Left Front was dealing with in West Bengal was ensuring free and fair Assembly polls in 2016.

“Even though it is the ECI that will conduct the polls and central forces will be stationed, the fact remains that the administration of the election will be carried out by the state government and its bureaucrats. It is a “TMC chief secretary” who will be in charge. We expect open and brazen favouritism by these officers. It is problem that needs to be addressed,” said Deb adding that the Left was also concerned with the use of money and muscle power by the ruling party. “We expect them to buy members of various opposition parties,” he added.

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  1. Dilip Banerjee
    Dec 9, 2015 at 5:25 am
    “Even though it is the ECI that will conduct the polls and central forces will be stationed, the fact remains that the administration of the election will be carried out by the state government and its bureaucrats.” Yes. This is the main crux of the problem. During Bihar election, it was reported that there were more number of security personnel than number of voters in each phase of the election. It worked because Nitish Kumar gave a free hand to them, unlike what happened in LokSabha election in West Bengal. The central security forces even if deplo in overwhelming number will be under control and guidance of local PS. Even the Chief Central Observer did cut a sorry figure last time. So, no luck unless you are asking for a civil war!
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