CPI(M) Polit Bureau members Sitaram Yechury and S. Ramachandran Pillai, met the Chief Election Commissioner today and expressed their displeasure over the failure of the ECI to respond adequately to the widespread violence and mayhem witnessed during the last phase of polling in West Bengal today. Terming it as “unfortunate”, they said that “the Election Commission and its apparatus” remained “mute spectators watching this mockery of democracy”. They charged the ECI of remaining a “helpless bystander” and not discharging its Constitutional mandate of conducting a free and fair election.
The delegation provided information available till 3.00 p.m regarding 465 polling booths in 14 parliamentary constituencies which were rocked by violence, booth capturing, rigging, intimidation of voters and driving out polling agents of parties opposed to the ruling TMC. Subsequently, reports also came in of around 350 other booths were polling was rigged.
The Party has demanded re-polling in over 800 booths with “adequate arrangements for protection of the voters which includes the deployment of central forces, video surveillance of the booths, strict instructions to the concerned officials to take prompt action against those disrupting the conduct of free and fair elections, amongst others.”