New Delhi, Apr 15 : A delegation of the CPI(M) led by its general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday met Election Commission officials and demanded re-poll in 464 booths in West Tripura constituency and conduct of free and fair elections in West Bengal. The party submitted two memorandums to the poll body, pointing out the alleged irregularities during the Lok Sabha polls in Tripura and West Bengal at the behest of BJP and Trinamool Congress respectively.
"With a sense of deep anguish and disappointment, we are forced to draw your attention to the gross irregularities and to a large extent undermining of the process of free and fair polls held on April 11 for the Tripura West parliamentary constituency", the party said in the memorandum. The CPI(M) alleged that the agreement between the party and the Commission reached on March 6 on deployment of the central forces for security of the booths and for the opposition polling agents and route marches for instilling a sense of confidence among the common voters have remained conspicuous in its non-implementation on the ground.
"Even the security of the two CPI(M) candidates could not be ensured", the party said.
The Left party said the reports that in a large number of booths, the facility for CCTV coverage and live video streaming were disabled to wipe out the evidence of the large scale hooliganism and wrongdoing. "But, above all, what was on evidence on April 11 was a complete absence of central para-military forces to ensure the conduct of a free and fair poll", the CPI(M) said. Therefore, the CPI(M) urged the Commission to conduct re-poll for the 464 booths "in which the elections were completely rigged'. The CPI(M) also demanded to take a number of measures before the second phase of poll, which will be held on April 18, including massive patrolling be conducted in all sensitive polling station areas till the evening of April 17 as confidence building measures for the voters.
"All FIR named persons, who are involved into the pre-poll violence should immediately be arrested and detained till the process of the election is over, all polling stations under the Constituency should be manned by central forces only and minimum strength should not be not less than seven, "the party demanded. " Moreover, more than three patrolling vehicles manned by central forces should be deployed in all sensitive sectors, in no case, unauthorised persons and voters concerned in the queue should be allowed to enter into the polling stations, the flying squads of ECI and patrolling vehicles should ensure safe reporting and return of the polling agents of the candidates wherever asked for. " it requested.
"No outsiders, if not voter of that particular booth or who had already cast his/her vote should be allowed to enter the cordoned areas of the polling stations, to check the movement of more than two motorcycles together and totally ban outsiders after 1700 hours", the party said these demands should be met. In another memorandum, the CPI(M) said in West Bengal there is an acute deficit of trust in public perception about the impartiality of the state administration in the conduct of free and fair polls.
The party said there is a conspicuous absence of the central security forces as in the case of Tripura. (UNI)