Loose knots need to be tied: CPI-M to EC on Bengal polls

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) The CPI-M has told the Election Commission that there were still loose knots which needed to be addressed to ensure free and fair assembly polls in the coming phases in West Bengal.

A two-member delegation of the Communist Party of India-Marxist — comprising general secretary Sitaram Yechury and central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu — met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi on April 5 and drew attention to some concerns of the party over the polls.

“There are still loose knots in the electoral mechanism which need to be addressed. There have been quite a few instances where contrary to earlier pronouncements, state police officials were found inside polling booths and in some instances, even found influencing voters.

“Area domination in the localities by the central police forces were found to be misdirected by state police. The state police constables posted outside the booth to manage the voters queue were also, in many cases, seen to be generally guiding the CRPF. The CRPF also was found in some instances to be placed outside the booths rather than inside,” the CPI-M said in a memorandum.

It said one major problem was the inadequate time that the quick response teams stayed put in a place of an incident.

“Even though the responses were prompt, they were being directed from the sector centre — a cluster of about 10 booths both for civil, as well as police forces. This allowed the miscreants to regroup immediately after the CRPF left, leading to recurrence of trouble.”

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