People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2004

CPI(M) Takes Exception To EC Move


The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following statement on April 17, 2004.


IT is reported that under the Election Commission's instructions, polling staff from outside West Bengal will be deployed in the state. For this purpose, a few thousand staff from neighbouring states are being assigned polling duties in West Bengal. In no other state is such a measure being taken.


The Polit Bureau takes serious exception to this measure. Why is West Bengal being singled out? Does it mean that in the rest of India everything is normal and West Bengal is the exception? If polling staff from outside a state is being deployed in all states, there can be no objection to the move.


The Election Commission must be aware that in Gujarat, the RSS has thoroughly infiltrated all sections of the state government machinery with the full blessings of the Narendra Modi government. Why is this measure not applicable to Gujarat then? The Commission must have noted the situation in Tamilnadu where the Jayalalitha government has sought to intimidate the government employees in the state by their unprecedented and enmasse dismissal a few months ago. In other states too, there are various problems.


The Commission has taken this unilateral step without even asking the state government for its views. In all previous elections, the Commission had gone on record appreciating the manner in which the elections were conducted in West Bengal. 


The Polit Bureau urges the Commission to make the induction of staff from outside an all India norm, or to withdraw the step taken in West Bengal.