Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners
Election Commission of India
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
On the basis of the first two phases of polls in the state of West Bengal, we wish to bring to your notice the following serious concerns that we request the Election commission to address;
- The list of central observers assigned to the constituencies is flawed. The contact numbers provided in some cases are incorrect.
- Most of the observers are neither visible, nor available in the constituency and are completely incommunicado. Observers are simply not contactable.
- In almost all of our earlier representations to the Commission, we had requested and the Commission had agreed to arrange for flag marches and patrolling in sensitive and extra sensitive constituencies, polling stations and villages. We wish to inform the commission that this is not being conducted as per the assurances and directions of the Election Commission.
- Despite the detailed rules and procedures prescribed by the Commission, the widespread incidents of bogus voting after the formal closure of voting continue unabated.
- Reports in local print media and electronic media bears ample testimony to the corrupt and criminal practices deployed by the Government of West Bengal at the behest of the Trinamool Congress, the ruling party.
- Representations have been made at the local level and it has also been reported to the Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal. [Copy enclosed]
- These incidents just a sample of the widespread malaise of crime & terror; apprehended earlier and manifest now in full abundance in the first two phases of poll.
In view of the foregoing, we request the Commission to order effective steps to stop use of muscle & power and take effective steps to create an atmosphere of free & fair elections and more specifically, we request the following;
- Central forces be fully deployed and employed; not only at the polling stations but also conduct flag marches and be directed to effectively patrol the abadi areas with the intent of instilling a feeling of security amongst the voters.
- Ensure that the Observers and Micro Observers are visible in their respective beats and are easily contactable by anyone.
- Commission may consider giving wide publicity through print & electronic media of their being in the area and publish their contact telephone numbers and details.
- Presiding Officers and polling officers must only be appointed from amongst the employees of the central government or central PSUs.
- Devise additional measures to ensure that headcount entering the polling station during the poll, tallies with headcount to be maintained by another independent agency, say the central police forces deployed so that biased poll officials, if any, can be held under check.
- Several other requests made to the Commission in our earlier meeting have still not been addressed and we request that it be done now and the Bharatiya Janata Party be apprised of the action taken by the Commission.
We request the Election Commission to ensure that the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal and the officers on election duty fully conform to fair practices and instructions issued by you to ensure free & fair elections and are available to respond to issues, as and when needed.
|Prakash Javadekar||Bhupender Yadav||Sidharthnath Singh||Om Pathak|