The Election Commission (EC) on Monday held a meeting with special police and expenditure observers of West Bengal and Tripura to review preparedness in seats going to the polls in the second and third phase of Lok Sabha elections.
The review meeting was held after the CPM wrote to the EC, alleging attacks by Trinamool Congress workers in West Bengal. CPM urged the poll panel to take adequate measures to ensure that it is allowed to campaign in West Bengal without “obstruction or intimidation”.
In the review meeting, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora told the observers to remain vigilant and ensure free and fair polls in the two states.
The CPM has also alleged “gross irregularities” and “undermining” of the polling process in the West Tripura constituency which went to poll on April 11. The party has demanded re-polling in as many as 464 booths.
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The delegation led by CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury told the EC that there was a complete absence of paramilitary forces in the constituency on polling day. In a memorandum, the CPM said several polling agents were forcibly disallowed from performing their responsibility and in a large number of booths, the facility for CCTV coverage and live video streaming were disabled to “wipe out evidence of large-scale hooliganism and wrongdoing”.
The CPM also told the commission that “there is an acute deficit of trust in public perception about the impartiality of the state administration in the conduct of free and fair polls” in West Bengal. It also drew the EC’s attention to the “unlawful circulation of the trailer of the biopic of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee” in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.