Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) The Election Commission failed to play its expected role in ensuring peaceful and fair assembly polls in some areas of West Bengal in the first phase, CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra alleged on Monday.
“The role which the Election Commission was expected to play and the determination which it was supposed to show, they have not done it.
“In West Midnapore’s Keshpur and Garbeta, even after informing the Election Commission, there has been no fundamental change in the situation.
“In other areas, there was sporadic violence but there were arrangements by the Commission. And people came out despite the violence,” Mishra told the media in West Midnapore’s Belda.
“In Burdwan, Jamuria, Raniganj, Pandabeswar there have been troubles but people have managed to successfully overcome them and vote,” he said.
Amid sweltering heat and allegations of violence, voting is underway in 31 constituencies for the first phase of the assembly polls spanning West Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan.
Mishra said voters were being prevented from entering booths in his constituency Narayangarh.
“There has been people’s resistance in all areas. The role which the Election Commission was expected to play and the determination which it was supposed to show, they have not done it. We have no faith in the state police,” he said.
“There has been people’s resistance in all the areas. We don’t have faith in the state police. We have told the people to be alert until the Electronic Voting Machines are sealed.”
Mishra, who is also Leader of Opposition, faced angry demonstrations from residents, said to be Trinamol Congress supporters, while visiting some of the booths in his constituency.
Refuting allegations of his absence from the constituency, Mishra claimed the ruling Trinamool Congress is “angry” because of his presence.
“I can see why they are angry. We had complained to the chief electoral officer about electoral malpractices and terrorisation in 23 booths. We have not seen such violence since 1977. After 1977, this the second time I am going from booth to booth for the assembly polls.
“Since this time there is violence, I am here. They are angry because I am here. And after I complained, the number of troubled booths have come down to four,” Mishra said.
He exhorted people to stay calm and vote.
“This is the Trinamool’s culture. This is a sign of disappointment and defeat. Don’t get swayed,” he said.
Asked about the complaint monitoring system of the poll panel, Mishra said the reporting system is “functional” and it is a “good sign”.