Accusing the electoral office here of failing to promptly redress their grievances of violation of Model Code of Conduct, the three political parties complained to Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath about “incomplete actions” by the election officials.
They requested the EC to guarantee freedom of expression to the opposition during the election campaign.
“The way EC is working in states like Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, we do not see it functioning in the same way in West Bengal. The actions initiated are incomplete,” said Congress leader Manas Bhuniya.
He also demanded the deployment of central security forces in all the polling stations in the state.
Former West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Pradip Bhattacharya said the West Bengal EC has no visibility in terms of functioning.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the functioning of the state electoral officials, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state leader Rabin Deb said police are following the ruling party’s orders and the poll officials are not heeding to the opposition.
“The commission is not listening to the opposition’s grievances and not taking proper action. It must ensure that our freedom of expression remains intact,” Deb said.
Deb urged the CEC to deploy special observers to check the withdrawal of nominations under threats and intimidation.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Rahul Sinha demanded posting of the special observers and questioned the EC’s inaction in issuing a show-cause notice to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for maligning the BJP in her election rally.
“She (Banerjee) is going on saying that if the BJP comes to power, there will be riots everywhere. Why isn’t the EC issuing a show-cause notice to her?” Sinha asked.
“What measures has it (the EC) taken in the incidents where a BDO (block development officer) in Habra city (North 24-Parganas) was heckled by the Trinamool activists and the attack on an MCC team in Howrah?” he asked.
Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy iterated that the situation in the state was peaceful and stable. He pointed out there has been no bloodshed.
“No media or political party is privy to what goes on in the meetings of the EC. However, because of some paid media, the discussions in Trinamool workers’ meetings are being exposed and complaints lodged,” he said.