A four-member delegation led by CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury met the Chief Election Commissioner today and submitted a memorandum with regard to the forthcoming by-elections in West Bengal.  Other members of the delegation were: D. Raja (National Secretary, CPI), G. Devarajan (National Secretary, AIFB) and Rabin Deb (West Bengal State Secretariat member, CPI(M). 

The full text of the memorandum submitted to the Commission is being released herewith.


Dear Sir,

On behalf of the West Bengal Left Front, we, the undersigned, approach you at a time when incidents of violence, terror and coercion are increasing in all the three above mentioned constituencies where bye-election will be held on 19th November, 2016. Such terror tactics have been unleashed by the ruling party AITC in the State.

In 1 Coochbehar (SC) PC, a number of incidents involving ransacking of houses, extortion of money, forcible eviction of supporters of opposition parties from their localities are taking place in village after village. Many people have been forced to leave the State because the situation was so desperate. Many officials fail to act impartially and are even engaged in furthering the election prospects of AITC. (Ref. our letter dated 4 November 2016).
We appreciate your timely intervention taking note of our complaint regarding  BDO Nandigram I Block in 30 Tamluk PC. We trust that you have understood the real state of affairs that is going on in every sphere of the State Administration as well as CEO and DEO offices in the State.

Similarly in Haldia AC which is a part of 30 Tamluk PC, activist of CPI(M) and other opposition political parties are pressurized and threatened by AITC to join the ruling party. The SDPO Haldia has colluded with ruling AITC in this matter. Free and fair election is not possible as long as this officer holds his present office.                                                               (Ref. our letter dated. 23rd October, 2016)                                                                                                

In our letters mentioned above we suggested the transfer of some other officers who fail to act impartially. We are grateful in noticing that many of them have been transferred after your prompt intervention.

In 263 Monteswar AC the role of both Civil and Police Administration is also biased, similar to the situation which prevailed during the last Assembly Election.
In view of what has been stated above the following suggestions may kindly be considered for ensuring a free and fair bye election.

1)  We request you to take immediate steps to remove the following officers from their present posts for the sake of free, fair and transparent election: SDO of Mathabhanga, BDO of Mathabhanga -2 Block in Coochbehar district along with SDPO of Haldia and IC of Panskura PS in Purba Medinipur district.

2)  VVPAT should be utilized in all the Constituencies.

3) PVS should be dropped from the list of alternatives of EPIC since PVS cannot be a substitute for other accepted identification documents. All the alternative documents mentioned in ECI order are permanent in nature except PVS. The PVS is used for a time span of 60 to 90 seconds only in the Election process.

We understand that 100% EPIC have been issued in West Bengal. There are also well-founded apprehensions that PVS is misused by the ruling party, AITC. They did so in earlier Lok Sabha and Assembly Election. Details of such misuse were submitted to you recently along with documents.

4) Persons with non-bailable warrants (NBWs) are to be arrested immediately.

5) CRPF must be deployed immediately in all the segments. They should also be instructed to immediately undertake route march everywhere till the end of the Election for confidence building and area domination. It is to be ensured that CRPF is utilized properly for the purposes for which they are deployed.

6) We are urging you to take necessary action to ensure the return of evicted persons to their homes. You are also requested to arrange necessary protection so that such evicted persons and other voters so that they can cast their vote fearlessly.

7) During the last Lok Sabha and Assembly Election the AITC activists threatened the polling agents of opposition parties as well as electors to keep them away from the booth and forcefully snatched away the EPICs. These incidents happened not only on the day of Poll but also prior to that day.

In a good number of areas these miscreants also prevented the polling agents from entering the polling station and those who managed to enter were beaten mercilessly and forced to leave the polling station despite the presence of Election Officials.

These type of incidents have already started in different areas. We request for early necessary steps in this regard. 

8) Boundaries near polling areas should be sealed to prevent the entry of outsiders.                                                                                                                  

9) Outsiders must be strictly prevented from infiltrating into the constituencies. Please note that AITC leaders and cadres violated the norms of restricted movement during the ‘48 hours’ period in the last Assembly Election.

Unfortunately, no effective steps were taken by the election authority.  As a result, the miscreants were both unruly and involved themselves in corrupt practices.

10) Stern measures must be taken to stop all kinds of anti-social activities. Distribution of alcohol and bikers’ rampages must be firmly prevented. In the light of the positive experience during the Assembly elections, Section 144 may be promulgated during the last 48 hours prior to the elections till it is over.

Hope, you will take necessary action.

With regards,

Yours Sincerely,

Sitaram Yechury     D. Raja
(General Secretary, CPI(M)     (National Secretary, CPI)

G. Devarajan     Rabin Deb
(National Secretary, AIFB)    (West Bengal State Secretariat
       Member, CPI(M)