People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXX

No. 13

March 26, 2006

CPI(M) Raises Issues Related To Polls Before The EC

B Prasant

 

AT the meeting, which the Election Commission held in Kolkata on 21 March with representatives of political parties, the Bengal CPI (M) communicated its clear views on considerations of a free-and-fair Assembly election in the province. 

 

Madan Ghosh, a member of the state secretariat of the Bengal CPI (M) led the delegation at the meeting.  The two other members of the team were state committee members, Robin Deb and Sukhendu Panigrahi.

 

The CPI (M) delegation drew attention of the Election Commission to the following points.

  1. ďFor purposes of organisation of big rallies and meetings, vehicles with permission should be allowed to carry election symbols, festoons, flags, banners.  Such vehicles should not be restricted in terms of movement and carrying propaganda materials.  In this case, permission for each vehicle from the DEOs is perhaps not feasible.  We seek your concrete guideline in this regard.

  2. Parties like the Trinamul Congress, the Congress, and the BJP are submitting massive numbers of fake complaints with the plea of non-residence and Bangladeshis.  We note how even MPís and ex-MPís are not spared on these counts.  We urge upon you to please ensure that genuine voters do not suffer.  The safety clauses for genuine voters, if their names are deleted in the Supplementary Votersí List, may be elucidated.

  3. We request you to ensure that all Election Observers must remain neutral.  We have already drawn your attention to the role being played otherwise by such Election Observers as Shri Deepak Prasad IAS who is in charge of the district of Purba Medinipur, and by Shri R N Dash IAS, in charge of the district of Burdwan.  Please ensure that such kinds of incidents do not recur further.

  4. During the last Lok Sabha elections of 2004, the Model Code of Conduct was violated by some political parties/candidates, and it is our exhortation to you to ensure that such violation does not take place.  Appropriate urgent intervention to prevent such violation from taking place is solicited.

  5. We urge upon you to ensure that postal ballots are made available in time for the drivers and staff of the vehicles that are requisitioned for the elections.

  6. A vast area of the state falls within the International border zone.  We suggest that the International border may be sealed during the period of the election.  We also suggest that the inter-state border, too, may be sealed.

  7. As per news reports appearing in the media, the election process, delayed by two hours in any booth, would be stopped.  On the day of the poll, it is the duty of the ECI to ensure that such a situation does not arise.

In case of unavoidable circumstances, repoll should take place next day, the day on which the election is scheduled in that constituency.

 

  1. Kindly clarify how the election candidates themselves will be allowed to maintain guard and vigil at the strong rooms once the polling is over.Ē