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Remove two Bengal poll officials: Left Front

Posted on May 02 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, May 1 : A day after complaining of "massive ragging" in the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal, the Left Front (LF) Thursday demanded the removal of two election officials.

LF chairman Biman Bose said letters have been sent to the Central Election Commission seeking removal of Election Commission's Special Observer for West Bengal Sudhir Kumar Rakesh and Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta.

Attacking Rakesh, Bose said: "Going to Patna, he was a tiger. Coming from Patna, he has become a cat. What is the reason behind all this, I don't know.

"Rakesh should not continue as the EC's special observer in West Bengal. He should be withdrawn by the Central Election Commission," Bose told media persons here.

Rakesh, who earlier served as the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, received all-round praise for the polls conducted there.

The LF has accused the Trinamool Congress of turning the third phase of polls in the state into a farce by "capturing booths", "driving out opposition polling agents" and intimidating and torturing voters in all the nine constituencies.

Rakesh Wednesday called the polls "free and fair", but he could not say "if it was peaceful". Thursday, however, he called the election "peaceful".

"The comments made by the special observer is inimical to ensuring free and fair polls. Soon after the voting, he said the election was free and fair. How did he get the report so soon? That means he spoke without getting the report.

"He had pre-decided what he will say. This is not right. Today also at a press meet, he said polls were free and fair, and that there was no terror.

"Whatever he says is also infantile.

"If polling agents are driven out of the booth by force, you expect them to go to a police station, which is 15-20 km away, and lodge FIR? It is surprising Rakesh has no idea," Bose said.

Regarding Gupta, he said: "He is working in favour of the Trinamool."

"Most of the booths were not covered by webcasting and digital camera. Why did this happen? He (Gupta) has to answer. Rakesh is to answer.

"We fear the fourth and fifth phases of balloting will again be farcical.

"So we demand both Gupta and Rakesh be withdrawn from the state."

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