Left Front alleges booth capturing in West Bengal
A large number of booths were captured across the nine Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, where balloting was underway, said Left Front chief Biman Bose Wednesday, accusing the Election Commission (EC) of "inaction" and demanding repolling.
Asserting that many booths were captured in the nine constituencies spread across the four districts of Howrah, Hooghly, Birbhum and Burdwan, Bose said despite repeated requests, the EC has failed to take steps essential for free and fair polls.
"Reports of booth capturing, our polling agents being attacked and driven out, have been coming from across the state. We have been repeatedly reporting the matter to the EC," he said.
"We had appraised the commission about how voters are being intimidated. Despite that, central security forces were not properly utilised. We have seen that the EC has failed to take steps that are essential for free and fair polls," Bose told media persons here.
He said despite reporting such incidents to the EC at Delhi and special observer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, no action was being taken.
"The EC will have to take decision about repolling in the booths, which have been captured. It has to take stern action, otherwise the polls will turn into a farce," said Bose.
The veteran Marxist leader also claimed that the ongoing war of words between the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress was a result of a "tacit understanding" between the two parties.
"It is now clear from the way both have been unleashing attacks at each other, these are a result of understanding between the BJP and the Trinamool aimed at deriving political gains for the polls," said Bose.
He claimed that endorsed by big corporate houses, the BJP has been spending record amount of money on the election.
However, West Bengal's Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kumar Gupta,,while addressing the media, claimed that the polls so far have remained peaceful, bar a few stray incidents.
(Posted on 30-04-2014)