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‘Free, fair polls becoming distant reality in Bengal’: TMC delegation at EC doorstep

The letter also stated that ECI is wilfully doing it only in West Bengal whereas elections are conducted in three more states and an Union territory.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

A delegation of Trinamul Congress MPs today met the Election Commission of India in New Delhi to register their protest against the poll panel’s reported decision to not permit state police personnel within 100 metres of polling stations.

Mr Yaswant Sinha, who joined the party last Saturday, accompanied TMC MPs Saugata Roy, Md Nadimul Haque, Pratima Mondal and Mahua Moitra (photo).

In a memorandum submitted to the ECI, the TMC delegation described the commission’s approach as partisan and biased and said free and fair and transparent elections are not possible in West Bengal in such circumstances.

The letter stated that as per media report, no state police will be allowed within 100 metres of polling booths. If this is true, this is an unprecedented move on the part of ECI and an aspersion on the role of Bengal state police.

The letter also stated that ECI is wilfully doing it only in West Bengal whereas elections are conducted in three more states and an Union territory.

The TMC said the deployment of Central forces should be to help the state government deal with law and order and “not deliberately demonise the state police personnel that have worked under different governments”.

The MPs demanded that the ECI must withdraw any such order before the first phase of polling on 27 March. They also demanded 100 per cent VVPAT verification of EVMs during the polls. S