Trinamool, BJP leaders meet EC officials in Kolkata

Partha Chatterjee. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday met the full bench of the Election Commission of India (EC) in Kolkata and sparred over the role of the Central Armed Police Forces ahead of the Assembly polls in the State.

The Trinamool delegation, led by party secretary general Partha Chatterjee, said that the Border Security Force (BSF) deployed at the State border was pressuring and threatening the locals in the villages to support a particular political party. “This is a serious allegation and we want to the Election Commission to look into it,” Mr. Chatterjee said. The TMC leadership also said that the BJP was trying to pressurise the EC by alleging that there were discrepancies in the voters’ list in bordering areas, and a number of Rohingya people had been included in the voters’ lists. Mr. Chatterjee said that such remarks made by BJP were completely baseless.

The State BJP delegation led by party State president Dilip Ghosh demanded that Central forces should be deployed in the State at the earliest to boost the confidence of the voters. “The people of West Bengal are in fear whenever elections approach on whether they can cast their votes freely,” Mr. Ghosh said. The State BJP president said that Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) officers should be deployed at polling booths and the State Police should be kept away from polling booths.

In the letter submitted to the Chief Election Commissioner, the State BJP leadership said that CAPF should be deployed at least 15 days before the polling day, and the deployment of CAPF must be made and supervised by police observers. “A state level Police observer of the rank of DG (Director General) assisted by four IG level observers to ensure law and order management and deployment of CAPF,” the BJP’s communication to the ECI said. Representatives of Left parties and Congress also met the ECI officials.

Later in the day, ECI officials met with senior police officials and administrative officers of the State government on the law-and-order situation. The ECI officials stressed on the execution of all pending arrest warrants in the State before the elections are held. The full bench of ECI is on a two-day visit to the poll-bound State.



During the day, representatives of the Trinamool Congress raised the issue of “shoot the traitors” slogans heard at a BJP rally at Chandannagar in Hooghly on Wednesday with the ECI and described it as “language terrorism”. The BJP leadership was quick to point that while its supporters who raised the slogans had been arrested, the police had not acted against the Trinamool Congress’ supporters who had raised similar slogans at a rally in Kolkata on Tuesday. BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said the incident proved that the police in the State was far from acting in an impartial manner.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:00:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/trinamool-bjp-leaders-meet-ec-officials-in-kolkata/article33627562.ece

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