Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Memos to ECI -- Bengal Elections

Press Release

We are herewith releasing two letters submitted to the Election Commission
with regard to various concerns about the assembly elections in West Bengal.

(Hari Singh Kang)

For CPI(M) Central Committee Office


May 2, 2016

The Chief Election Commissioner

Election Commission of India

Nirvachan Sadan

New Delhi 110 001

Dear Sir,

There has been widespread appreciation both among the people and among the
media for the manner in which the polls were conducted in the fifth phase on
April 30. This is, however, despite some problems in few ACs like Behala
(East) and Canning (East). But the post-poll violence continues unabated,
even leading to fatalities (Annexure I). A most obnoxious feature of these
post-poll violence is that even children of the family are not being spared
for their elders having gone to polling booths and exercise their franchise,
despite the threats by the miscreants of the ruling party. The earlier
pattern of violence being directed to opposition polling agents also

It is our humble suggestion that abrupt withdrawal of the CAPF on the
completion of the polling is being utilised by these miscreants; therefore,
some post-poll security management planning also needs to be undertaken.
Since the interregnum between the final phase of polling and the counting of
votes is almost two weeks, special measures need to be planned and

We are hereby forwarding letters and material regarding the polls to be held
in East Midnapur district on the May 5 (Annexure II). Importantly, these
include certain specific details about police officials who continue to take
a partisan attitude in favouring the ruling party, vulnerable booths and
name of criminal miscreants with past records, constituency-wise. We also
include details about the activities by TMC which is contrary to an
violative of the existing directions of the ECI.

In our humble opinion, the following steps are necessary for ensuring free
and fair polls in the district:

1.      Section 144 should be strictly and properly executed in the ensuing
poll in the two districts Coochbehar and Purba Medinipur.

2.      Unlawful gathering by motorcycle borne political musclemen in the
roads and by-lanes beyond 200 meters of booths in attempt to intimidate
voters should be foiled. In previous phases it is to be pertained that
though EC has tried their level best to foil those activities but the local
Police authorities have failed to execute the EC order in many cases.

3.      Unlawful gathering in Booth camps and surrounding places should be

4.      Patrolling and route march of Central Forces to build up confidence
level of common voters in all sensitive areas immediately should have to be

5.      There are some serious possibilities of intrusion of outsiders well
in advance in the aforesaid two districts with the intention to manipulate
the entire vote. So all the Hotels, Tourist Lodges, Marriage Houses, Clubs,
under-construction-buildings and Slum areas should be kept under serious
vigil. The identity of the boarders should be checked properly.

6.      Intimidating voters by snatching their EPICs 48 hours before the
poll day in many places by the Political goons patronized by AITC is one of
our unfortunate experiences in most of the previous phases of polling. So a
serious intervention is required from the top level of the EC. EPICs and EC
supplied photo voters slip should be checked properly.

7.      Purba Midnipur has both coastal, riverine and land borders both
inter-state and inter-district. This must be effectively sealed like in the
earlier phases.

In a similar vein we append Annexure III which includes an exhaustive list
of the constituencies of Coochbehar district which goes to polls on May 5
along with vulnerable booths and miscreants who might cause trouble. In this
district as well border sealing, flag march and night vigil for confidence
building among the voters is of paramount significance. Of the
constituencies 269 Mathabhanga (SC) A/c has a border with Alipurdwar, 299
Sitalkuchi (SC) A/c has borders with Bangladesh and 252 Tufanganj (SC) has
borders with Assam.

With regards

Yours sincerely

(Sitaram Yechury)                                  (Nilotpal Basu)

General Secretary                         Member, Central Secretariat

May 3, 2016

Shri Nasim Zaidi

Chief Election Commissioner

Election Commission of India

Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road

New Delhi - 110001

Dear Sir,

I must concede that I was shocked to receive the Action Taken Report  (ATR)
[Annexure I] to my complaint addressed to you [Annexure II] on April 30,

The ATR from the South Kolkata DEO talks about the issues pertaining to  my
complaint not falling within its jurisdiction.  This is bizarre, to say the
least.  Because, my complaint was not about jurisdiction but about the
content of the speech of the AITC Chairperson and the Chief Minister of West
Bengal and its violation of the MCC, as well as, it's possible impact on the
process of free and fair polls.  The ATR, therefore, clearly attempted to
obfuscate the essential thrust of the complaint under the guise of
technicality.  This is unacceptable.

More importantly, the absence of a strong deterrent in the form of a firm
action against such violation has only emboldened her to launch a far
strident broadside against the EC and the police officials who have acted
under the directions of the EC to ensure free and fair polls.  In fact, the
result of the approach of the election authorities in West Bengal  has led
to her speech in Chandipur, in East Midnapore district which is going to
polls on the last phase on May 5.  We are forwarding the complaint by the
West Bengal Left Front Committee [Annexure III] on the speech and the need
for a strong action so that  the dangerous possible impact on that days
polling can be nullified.  Equally, her speech has acted as a  major
instigation for post-poll violence in Kolkata and elsewhere.  Obviously,
this post-poll violence as we have, time and again, pointed out is, indeed,
aimed at demoralizing the security arrangement and energise the miscreants
of her party.

With regards,

Yours Sincerely

 (Nilotpal Basu)

Member, Central Secretariat
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