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Ruling party obstructing Opposition campaign: Left complains to CEO

” “In a bid to abide by the Covid protocols, we have requested that if any polling agent does not have full vaccination then an RT-PCR Covid negative report within 48 hours should suffice for clearance in access into the booth”

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

A Left Front delegation, led by CPI-M leader Rabin Deb, today met the chief electoral officer(CEO) and intimated to him about what they alleged was “deliberate obstruction to their campaigns in the four seats going for bypolls on 30 October”, and further requested that a Covid negative RTPCR report should suffice for allowing a polling agent into the booth.

Addressing the Press at the EC office, Deb informed that they have conveyed to the CEO that their party workers are not being allowed to campaign in the four seats -Dinahata, Shantipur, Khardaha and Gosaba.

“This election is being held at an odd time since this is a season of festivals. The TMC chief and chief minister Mamata Banerjee has anyway cut short the campaign time by announcing that parties will only start campaigning from 20 October. This was not a decision made by the election body and we pointed it out to them.

Adding to this, the TMC workers and state administration are constantly obstructing Opposition from reaching the people during campaigns. We have faced resistance in both Gosaba and Shantipur which we have reported to the CEO,” Deb highlighted.

“Since it is the last day of campaigning and time for which ends at 6:30, we have requested the CEO to instruct all the district magistrates of the respective districts where the bypolls are to be held to not create any sort of blockade for our rallies. Further, we have requested tight security arrangements outside the polling booths on the day of elections.”

The CPI-M leader added, “In a bid to abide by the Covid protocols, we have requested that if any polling agent does not have full vaccination then an RT-PCR Covid negative report within 48 hours should suffice for clearance in access into the booth. We requested the commission to send clear instructions down to the level of presiding officers so at the last moment polling agents should not be harassed out of any booths on the pretext of having violated covid protocols.”

Deb highlighted that the poll will be conducted on the basis of EPIC/Voter ID cards. “If one loses their voter ID card, then there are many alternatives through which they can cast their votes except by using photo voter slip (PVS) which previously was an alternative but was disallowed from 2019. Tomorrow, we will have a video conference with the DMs of the districts where bypolls will be held. We will also ask them to ensure proper documents are produced to cast votes. This will prevent any case of false voters.”