Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi conducted an all-party meet Tuesday to discuss issues relating to the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Almost all the leading party members said that they apprehended foul play by the ruling Trinamool Congress and wanted the election commission to take steps for free and fair elections.
BJP state president Rahul Sinha said they had demanded for micro observers and CCTVs at all the booths. “We had also proposed the live telecast of polls from sensitive booths and our demands included an unbiased role of the police and administration.
In reply, Zutshi said, “Elections in 2011 had been impartial and this time it will be even more.”
In a letter addressed to the Deputy Election Commissioner, Sinha apprised him about the hate speeches of TMC leaders including Saugata Roy’s recent speech and said that the election commission should take complete charge of the law and order of the state.
CPI-M leader Rabin Deb said, “We have requested that central forces be deployed at all places.” He also said that they had demanded strengthening of the CEO office here by deploying special officers. “We have also submitted CDs of the TMC leaders’ instigating speeches,” Deb said.
The four-member team of Congress leaders led by Manas Bhunia too, submitted a letter to Zutshi and while leaving after the all-party meeting, Bhunia said that all the talks about there being insufficient paramilitary forces were unfounded. “Zutshi has assured us that there are enough central forces and they will be pressed into action wherever needed,” he said. He also said that they demanded the election commission to intervene in the appointment of election officials.
Bhuniya added that they had given a written complaint against top government officials and have demanded immediate transfer or re-positioning of these officials. They also demanded adequate police force especially at the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) area.
TMC heavyweights Mukul Roy and Partha Chatterjee, however, refused to talk to the press after the meeting.