Appoint chief observer from outside Bengal: BJP

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Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) Demanding ‘free and fair’ elections in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Saturday urged the Election Commission to appoint chief state observer from outside the “sensitive” West Bengal to oversee the poll process, including the functioning of the office of state Chief Electoral Officer.

BJP leader Mukul Roy said the Trinamool Congress was “afraid of losing the elections if people of the state are allowed to vote freely. People have also lost trust in the Bengal police, which is absolutely politicised.”

The Congress, on the other hand, alleged West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress would “frustrate” the EC’s effort to conduct free and fair elections.

In a representation to the Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain, BJP leaders demanded appointment of chief state observer from outside the state to oversee conduct of the election process.

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The BJP also demanded appointment of general and police observers for each Lok Sabha constituency with special and implicit powers to review and rectify functioning of the district election and returning officers.

It urged the EC to take up pre-poll confidence building special exercise.

The BJP requested the commission to declare “all polling booths in the state as super sensitive” and “Bengal as sensitive state”, Roy said after meeting with the EC officials.

The Trinamool Congress, however, slammed the BJP for its “bunch of lies”.

“The BJP leaders had previously resorted to various tricks to hide their weakness. They went to the Election Commission’s office in Delhi and moved court; but the Supreme Court clearly stated that their allegations where ‘false’. But now they have again approached the EC with a bunch of lies,” said Trinamool Secretary General Parth Chatterjee.

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Submitting a representation to the EC, state Congress President Somendra Mitra said, “the government in West Bengal is determined not to allow a free and fair poll. The Trinamool-led West Bengal government is determined to frustrate all efforts of the commission for a free and fair poll and capture maximum seats.”

Alleging that the central forces are being deployed by the local administration for “performing an unimportant role”, the Congress urged the commission to use its authority for proper force deployment.

Mitra also urged the EC to take action against leaders of the BJP and the Trinamool for making provocative speeches, which were creating fear among the people.

The Congress delegation claimed advertisements of the Trinamool government with Mamata Banerjee’s photograph were still there at various locations in the state. Hoarding and banners of the BJP with fighter planes, other defence equipment along with central government publicities also continued to be seen, it alleged.

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–IANS

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