Thursday, November 30, 2023

CPI-M knocks at Zaidi’s doors over Bengal polls

New Delhi/Kolkata, March 3 (IANS) The CPI-M on Wednesday drew the Election Commission’s attention to some serious concerns which could undermine the right of the voter in the coming West Bengal assembly polls.

A two-member delegation of the Communist Party of India-Marxist comprising General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and central secretariat Member Nilotpal Basu met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and said it was “extremely disturbed’ over the reported statement of state minster and Trinamool Congress general secretary Partha Chatterjee questioning the jurisdiction of the ECI (Election Commission of India) over matters pertaining to law and order.

“It is his contention that law and order belongs to the purview of the state government during the election process. This, together with the reported representation of the TMC claiming that surfeit of central forces’ will adversely affect free and fair poll accentuates our concern.”

“In fact, grave apprehensions about the holding of free and fair polls remain with, not just the opposition political parties but among wide sections of the people and the media,” the party said in a memorandum to Zaidi.

The CPI-M, which spearheads the Left Front in the state, expressed apprehension about “huge sums of ill-gotten funds coming into play to influence the election outcome” in the wake of the Ponzi scheme scam and several important Trinamool leaders, including ministers and members of parliament, being probed in connection with these cases.

“In the past, the ECI has been seriously seized with the use of flush funds; but the context of the West Bengal Assembly elections warrants a far more focused attention towards addressing this question,” the party said.

Among other concerns raised by the CPI-M is the “widespread violence and booth capturing and falsification of the results even at the stage of counting” during the panchayat polls” of 2013 and the partisan role of the administration, particularly police.

The memorandum also termed as “shocking” the shuffling of officers clearly from a partisan point of view to influence the electoral outcome in complete violation of procedures laid down by the ECI in the past.

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