People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 11

March 12, 2006

LF Identifies The Phased Election Schedule As Unwarranted


MEETING at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan in Kolkata in the afternoon of March 2, the Bengal Left Front has called the five-phase election schedule for the state as ‘unwarranted, unprecedented, and unnecessary.’


The Bengal Left Front completely accepts the election schedule but believes that a different approach could have been embarked upon by the Election Commission in drawing up the programme. The Left Front leadership asserted the very healthy law-and-order situation prevailing in the state.


In his address to the Kolkata media, Bengal Left Front chairman, Biman Basu, cited the fact that Kerala has been considered for a three-phase polls, and Bengal for a five-phased one, and commented that perhaps an air of discrimination was perceivable.  He also elucidated to say that Tamilnadu has been marked for a one-day election.


The Bengal Left Front chairman said that it was regrettable that in chalking up the election schedule for Bengal, the examination schedule was not taken cognizance of. 


Citing figures, Biman Basu pointed out that more than 10 lakh of examinees would have to reckon with uncertainty, and their guardians and parents bothered with anxiety as the entire gamut of the examination schedule for the state was postponed.


Speaking about the election campaign of the Bengal Left Front constituents, Biman Basu said that in view of the directive by the Election Commission against ‘defacement’ of walls, the Left Front would conduct intense house-to-house campaign, and concentrate on smaller group meetings. 


The fact of the ongoing school leaving examinations will be taken into account, and loudspeakers given a wide berth in organising election rallies. Election campaign has to be visible on the ground: electoral campaign could hardly be conducted over the airwaves, posited the Left Front chairman.


Answering questions from the media, Biman Basu said that it was somewhat strange that only graffiti with political, economic, and social content was considered as responsible for ‘defacement’ of walls, and not the myriad of other sorts of posters and logos, the contents of at least some of which bordered on the socially and environmentally unacceptable.


Commenting on the dictum of the Election Commission in its circular of February 13, about wall writing causing the political parties a huge expense, Biman Basu said that for the Left parties, in contrast to their bourgeois counterparts, the exercise of wall writing was always based on a very modest, almost shoe-string, budget since the work was never ‘contracted out,’ and the graffiti were done up by dedicated volunteers of the political parties, with perhaps the only running expenditure involving buckets of cheap paints and whitewash.

(B P)