People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 16, 2006
Raid: EC Observer Action Illegal
is the text of the letter written by CPI(M) central secretariat member Nilotpal
Basu to the chief election commissioner on April 6, 2006
AM constrained to forward the appending memorandum addressed to you by the West
Bengal state committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on the subject
of 'raid conducted on CPI(M) offices under instructions of an observer' at 219
Keshpur (SC) assembly constituency.
memorandum is self-explanatory. In continuation of our discussion with you and
other members of the Commission on April 3, this is another instance of blatant
and illegal misuse of power by the concerned observer Manmohan Singha. I may
also add that it is absolutely clear that the raid did not produce a single
objectionable item as the seizure list shows 'nil recovery'. The fact of the
raid being conducted at the instance of AITC leaders is also substantiated in
vernacular press reports. We do not know whether you will term this action as
not prompted by any 'malafide', the description you had used for the other two
observers mentioned in our memorandum of April 3.
do not know whether the observer has any executive powers to order such a raid?
Neither do we know whether this raid was authorised either by the Returning
Officer or the Chief Electoral Officer or the Commission itself. But what we
clearly know is that this action is clearly illegal and cannot be sustained in
terms of any law, rule or direction of the ECI. The outcome of the action
objectively reveals an inclination to malign our Party and terrorise our
workers, sympathisers and the people at large on the basis of baseless charges
by the AITC.
substantiates the point that we had made about the conduct of some of the
observers for the West Bengal assembly elections. Unfortunately, in spite of
repeated assurances we have not received any written clarification from your
side about the complaints that we had lodged against Deepak Prasad, R N Dash
.and subsequently through my letter about Lingaraj Panigrahi, observer for 251
Bankura assembly constituency on the complaint of the CPI(M) candidate (copy of
my letter to Balakrishnan is attached).
We do not know whether this absence of clarification is helping the
Commission to hold a free and fair poll for the West Bengal assembly.
in the present case, the illegality of the action initiated by the observer is
established prima facie. Therefore, we urge upon you to initiate immediate
action against the observer concerned for 219 Keshpur assembly constituency and
keep us informed about your action.