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West Bengal poll violence a 'mockery and rape of democracy': Left

Monday, 12 May 2014 - 7:37pm IST | Agency: PTI

Terming poll violence in West Bengal as "mockery and rape of democracy", Left parties today demanded repoll in over 800 booths hours after voting, blaming the ruling Trinamool Congress for large-scale violence, mayhem and booth capturing.

"It is indeed unfortunate that the Election Commission and its apparatus are remaining mute spectators watching this mockery and rape of democracy in West Bengal.

"Far from discharging its constitutional mandate of conducting free and fair election, the EC remains a helpless bystander," CPI(M) said in a memorandum submitted to top poll panel officers by its senior leaders Sitaram Yechury and S Ramachandran Pillai.

After their 40-minute meeting, Yechury said the Left parties would observe a protest day tomorrow in the state and launch agitations the day after in other parts of the country.

He told reporters that these 800 booths, for which repoll was being demanded, constituted about seven per cent of votes in each of the 17 Lok Sabha seats "which is very critical".

These seats went to polls today.

"When you have central forces, it is just not right that such large-scale violence has taken place all over," he said, adding that 22 Left Front workers have been hospitalised, including the four critically wounded in gunfire, two candidates who were attacked and roughed up and scores of others injured.

He observed that today's incidents were "not just a general breakdown of law and order, but all related to the elections."

While all political parties, barring TMC, have lodged similar complaints which have also been "covered widely by the electronic media", election observers have been saying "since 10 AM that everything is peaceful. This is complete mockery," Yechury said.

Strongly condemning the poll violence, senior RSP leader Abani Roy said, "These elections have no meaning when people could not exercise their franchise but the poll percentage was very high."

He said "the terror and rigging indulged in by TMC reflected their desperation to maintain their stranglehold" and the exercise, especially in the last three phases in West Bengal, has become a "farce." 

In the memorandum, CPI(M) provided information about over 800 polling booths, saying these were "rocked by violence, booth capturing, rigging, intimidation of voters and driving out polling agents of parties opposed to ruling TMC." The RSP leader described as farce the last three phases of polling in West Bengal.

"These elections have no meaning when people could not exercise their franchise....," he said.

Roy said the Left parties would organise protests across the country on Wednesday against the violence-ridden poll process in West Bengal.

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