People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 10

March 05, 2006

Bengal CPI(M) Moots Proposal To The EC

Regarding Polling Booth Location


IN a letter addressed to the Chief Electoral Officer of Bengal, Anil Biswas has mooted a proposal regarding the location of a polling booth.


The Election Commission has earlier spoken about relocation of polling stations that fall within 200 metres of the offices of political parties and trades union.


Anil Biswas pointed out in his letter dated February 21 that once the booths were shifted away from their present locations, the voters would have to travel additional distances and that this would cause inconvenience to the voters.


Expressing the view that the Election Commission surely wants the polling stations to be close to the dwelling places of the voters, the Bengal CPI(M) has come up with a specific proposal in this regard.


Anil Biswas points out in his letter that the polling booths should be retained in their present locations and that the offices of political parties and trades union, if situated within 200 metres of the booths, could be kept closed from the time the election campaign ends until the end of the polling.  An exception here could be the state-level and district-level offices of the six national political parties and three state-level political parties. 


Anil Biswas also notes that in view of the Election Commissionís earlier memo that relaxed the 200-metre rule for congested urban areas for the setting up of camp offices of the candidates in the fray, the same relaxation could be applied for offices of political parties as well.  The Election Commission, if it so desires, states Anil Biswas in his letter, can nominate personnel to maintain a watch in this regard.


Addressing a media briefing at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan in the afternoon of February 27, Anil Biswas, while releasing the letter, repeated what he had been saying in a consistent manner that the CPI(M) would always adhere to the directives of the Election Commission. (B P)