Kolkata, Apr 6 UNI | 4 months ago

Accusing the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of West Bengal of failing to redress their grievances, the Opposition parties today sought the intervention of the Election Commission.

Representatives of the CPI(M), Congress and BJP, who met Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) VS Sampath during the day, also requested him to ensure freedom of expression to the opposition, during the election campaign.

CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb alleged that while police were following the ruling party's orders, the poll officials are not listening to the opposition.

'The commission is not listening to the opposition's grievances and not taking proper action. It must ensure that our freedom of expression remains intact,' he said.

Mr Deb urged the CEC to deploy special observers to check withdrawal of nominations under intimidation.

'The way EC is working in states like Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, we do not see it functioning in West Bengal. The actions initiated are incomplete,' Congress leader Manas Bhuniya said, while demanding deployment of central security forces in all polling stations of the state.

Former West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Pradip Bhattacharya said the West Bengal EC has no visibility as far as functioning is concerned.

BJP state President Rahul Sinha alleged that there was no action on the part of CEO in issuing a show-cause notice to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for maligning the party in her election rally. 'She goes on saying that if BJP comes to power, there will be riots everywhere. Why isn't the EC issuing a show-cause notice to her?'

'What measures has the EC taken in the incidents, where a BDO in Habra city was heckled by Trinamool activists and the attack on the team of a Model Code of Conduct in Howrah?' he asked.

The state will go to polls in six phases on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7.

(Posted on 06-04-2014)