The United Democratic Front (UDF) will initiate legal measures against District Collector V.K. Balakrishnan for what it calls his failure in holding the local body election in the district in a free and fair manner, despite clear-cut directions of the High Court in this regard.

UDF district chairman Sunny Joseph said here on Tuesday that the failure of Collector amounted to contempt of court. He said the UDF leadership meeting here had decided to resort to legal action in its bid to seek justice. The Collector was not fair the in preparation of voters' lists and arrangement of polling stations, he added.

The UDF leader said that many of the UDF candidates and their agents had filed petitions in the High Court before the polls, seeking police protection and video-recording inside their respective polling booths. The court had ordered that videography should be done in those polling booths identified as sensitive. But the order had not been implemented in many booths, he said.

Though the Collector had given the UDF leaders a list of sensitive booths, there was no video-recording in those booths as directed by the court, Mr. Joseph said.

He also said that though the High Court had allowed many UDF candidates and polling agents to videograph election proceedings in many non-sensitive booths at their own expense, that order also was not effectively implemented.

In some places, the videographers themselves had cast bogus votes for the CPI(M), he alleged. It was a clear violation of the court order, he added.

UDF district chairman also said an elaborate public convention for protection of civic rights would be organised by the UDF here in the second week of November to mobilise public support against anti-democratic methods used by the CPI(M) in the district to win the elections.

He added that the CPI(M) candidates had won in many wards through electoral malpractices. Many UDF candidates and agents were still being attacked by the CPI(M), he said.

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