The CPI-M has criticised the state election commission’s (SEC) decision to hold the civic polls to four municipal corporations on 22 January and alleged that it was a decision taken not by an all-party meeting but out of an understanding between the state government, ruling party and the SEC to rob the Opposition parties of their time to campaign.
The CPI-M central committee member and spokesperson, Sujan Chakraborty today alleged gross violation by the election body which chose to hold the polls on 22 January and counting on 25 January- a time that is marked by several events such as the birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose on 23 January, National Voters Day on 25 January and Republic Day on the 26th.
He said that the CPI-M has given a written complaint to the SEC, warning it that such a schedule has been chosen by the ruling party so it could loot votes. Chakraborty further inquired whether chief minister Mamata Banerjee is aware of the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
“It does not seem like the chief minister understands the gravity of the situation. On one hand, she is shutting down educational institutions and local trains while on the other she is hosting a grand fair at Gangasagar and entertainment programmes in the city like one hosted at Allen Park during Christmas week.” On the day of Christmas, images of Park Street covered with a sea of people went viral and which led many to question whether it was appropriate of the state government to have withdrawn curfews when there was clearly a warning of a third Covid wave.
“It is understandable that the ruling party wants to loot votes to win the civic polls. By setting the polling date on 22 January, it gives us no time for campaigns. It was apparent that the decisions being taken by the state government are preposterous since after announcing that trains services will be stopped after 7 pm, the government was forced to extend it till 10pm. Chief minister does not care as long as her entertainment shows and Ganga Sagar mela continues but is ready to compromise when it comes to essential things such as elections, train services, educational institutions and transportation,”
Mr Chakraborty said and remarked, “Bengal is not being run by a ‘sarkar’ (govt) but instead is now a circus.”