People's Democracy

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


No. 40

October 07, 2012


CPI(M) Objects to Undermining

of Election Commission’s Authority


THE CPI(M) has sought an urgent inquiry by the Election Commission of India into the sabotage of the process of summary revision of electoral rolls in West Bengal. This inquiry must fix accountability for the ‘gross misdemeanor’ of the state government stopping this process of revision of electoral rolls midway thus ‘undermining and challenging the very authority of the Election Commission’.


CPI(M) central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner on October 4 bringing to his notice this development and seeking inquiry into it. As proof, the CPI(M) leader attached a copy of the letter issued by District Magistrate and District Electoral Officer of Malda, dated September 28, 2012 to the CPI(M) informing that ‘all administrative works in relation to the summary revision of electoral rolls 2013 have been stopped for the time being’.


Basu said that this process of revision of electoral rolls is important for ensuring the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of young people, which would otherwise be kept in abeyance. Commending the ECI for responding favourably to its request for continuing the revision process, the CPI(M) leader however drew attention to the apprehensions about the state government sabotaging this process.


On the letter issued by DM Malda, Basu stated “The content of the letter is self-revealing; it undermines the authority of the EC. The severe ramification of this can be overlooked at our peril. The superintendence and control of the EC over every aspect of the electoral process is the bedrock of our parliamentary democracy. Under no circumstance, can it be allowed to be compromised.”


Basu felt that such instructions could not have been issued without the behest of the Chief Electoral Officer of the state. He, therefore, requested the CEC to initiate an urgent inquiry to fix accountability for this gross misdemeanor. ‘Unless those who are responsible for this wrongdoing are brought to book, public confidence in the electoral establishment of the state will remain under a cloud. And so will be the credibility of the system’, he felt.