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Bengal civil society urges EC to ensure free, fair polls

Posted on May 02 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, May 2 : Alleging that violence and muscle power dominated the Lok Sabha polls for nine seats in West Bengal April 30, a section of civil society members Friday urged the Election Commission to take urgent steps to ensure the democratic exercise was free and fair in the final two stages.

"As has been witnessed in the mass media, violence and muscle power dominated yesterday's (Wednesday) poll process to a considerable extent. We appeal to you to intervene immediately and take measures to restore public confidence in the state's democratic process," they said in a letter to the Election Commission.

The letter was signed, among others, by former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, noted film and theatre personality Soumitra Chatterjee and Ashok Mukherjee, economist Amiya Kumar Bagchi, filmmakers Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Tarun Majumdar, actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, educationist Pabitra Sarkar, former city mayor Bikas Bhattacharya and women's activist Yasodhara Bagchi.

The delegation expressed "dissatisfaction" over the "assault on the democratic rights of genuine voters" in Wednesday's polls and appealed to state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta to take measures for stopping post-election violence in some areas of the state.

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