Special Correspondent

CPI(M) planning to rig the polls, alleges UDF

High Court orders supervision by the Collector

Heightened security after reported bomb explosion

KANNUR: The election to the director board of the Naduvil Service Cooperative Bank near Taliparamba on Sunday may further vitiate the political situation in the district, if pre-election apprehensions are any indication.

The scheduled polling for electing the new director board of the United Democratic Front (UDF)-controlled cooperative bank has already drawn public attention in the wake of a High Court order that the District Collector “should have an immediate control on the scene of polling” to ensure that “there is no unlawful incident in relation to the election.”

The UDF has already raised its apprehension that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has been working to capture the bank from the UDF through “unfair electoral practices it had resorted to in past elections to cooperative institutions, including the Pariyaram Medical College.”

Independent agency

The High Court issued its order on a writ petition filed by K. Govindan, president of the bank society, praying for, among other thing, deployment of an independent law enforcing agency to ensure a free and fair election.

Local Congress MLAs K. Sudhakaran and K.C. Joseph, at a press conference here on Saturday, alleged that local CPI(M) leaders had openly stated that the party would capture the bank in the poll.

They urged the police and Revenue officials to act in a non-partisan manner to hold a free and fair polling.

The Collector should be personally present at Naduvil on the polling day in view of the High Court order, they said.

Though the High Court had authorised the Collector to utilise the assistance of the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) for holding the election in a free and fair manner, it had also clearly stated that the assistance of the RDO would be only in addition to the personal superintendence of the Collector, they added.

Mr. Sudhakaran also said that the Collector and the Superintendent of Police would be held responsible for any unlawful activity for scuttling a democratic election.

He also added that the UDF would strongly resist any move to rig the polling.

The election to the director board is between the UDF and the CPI(M)-led Sahakarana Janadipatya Munnani.

Meets Collector

Mr. Joseph met Collector Ishita Roy and urged her to ensure that ballot papers are issued to society members after verifying their identity with the Form 6B register maintained by the society.

The CPI (M) had captured four UDF-ruled cooperative societies using fake identity cards, he said adding that genuine voters were often outnumbered by CPI(M) cadres standing in the queue with fake identity cards.

He also said that the UDF would go to any extent to resist the bid to torpedo a democratic election.

Meanwhile, Ms. Roy visited the Naduvil High School, which is the polling station, in the afternoon to examine the polling arrangements.

The police also erected barricades in the school as part of arrangements to hold the elections.

Law and order arrangements were strengthened following a reported explosion of a country-made bomb near the school in the early hours of Saturday.

The UDF leaders alleged that the bomb explosion was planned by the CPI(M) to scare the people.