Nilotpal Basu, Central Secretariat Member of CPI(M) met the Chief Election Commissioner today to draw attention of the Commission to some serious concerns with regard to the elections to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.  The full text of the memorandum submitted to the Commission is being released herewith.


Dear Sir,

We are constrained to bring to your notice the inadequacies in the preparedness of the arrangement for holding free and fair elections on the ensuing phases on the 11th and 17th April 2016. 


So far as the ensuing polls on the 11th, the situation in particularly two ACs, 235 Keshpur (SC) AC and 233 Garbeta AC, is extremely disturbing. Both these are in Paschim Midnapur district.  We are hereby forwarding letters addressed by the CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee dated April 6th along with other supporting material (Annexure I). Here the main problem is of police inaction and distorting the actual reality by the highest echelons of the District Police authorities.  While miscreants after having committed crime (with NBWs issued against them)  continue to not just roam free, but terrorise the common people.  The charges are under Section 302 of IPC and Arms Act.  While the people can see them, the police continuously fails to apprehend and arrest them. 


The situation in Keshpur is no less serious.  Here again, we are forwarding to you representations made by the CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee on March 4th, on March 16th and by the Left Front Committee on March 28th and March 30th and the CPI(M) Paschim Midnapur District Committee on April 8th (Annexure II).   Without any certain special arrangements, may be with a specific Central observed fixed for overseeing what the civil and the police aspects, free and fair polls cannot take place in 235 Keshpur (SC) AC.


One of the major issues in the conduct of polls in Paschim Midnapur is the critical law and order situation.  We are of the firm opinion that inter-district borders with Hooghly district (for Ghatal and Chandrakona ACs and with Purba Midnapur district for Pingla, Sabang and Narayangarh ACs) need to be completely plugged to stop movement from these adjoining districts.  Apart from these, the experience of route marches for area domination by the CAPs has been quite unsatisfactory.  A specific suggestion is detailed out in the representation of the Paschim Midnapur District Committee on 8th April (Annexure III)


The situation in the Birbhum district is also quite critical, with particularly ominous developments in the 288 Labpur AC. We are forwarding herewith a representation from CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee dated March 31st  and 5th April along with a press clipping (Annexure IV).  The representation details out the brazenly partisan role of SP Birbhum and OC Labpur PS.  We would also firmly point out that the delay of the EC in  initiating action against Anubrata Mondal, Birbhum District President of TMC.  We have time and again brought this to your notice.  We urge that SP Birbhum and OC Labpur must be immediately relieved from their present responsibility; but for which free and fair polls are not possible.


We are, once again, submitting an updated list of sensitive booths  for constituencies which are going to polls on 11th April.  We are hereby forwarding a representation from the West Bengal Left Front Committee dated 7th April on the subject (Annexure V).  The representation is self-explanatory.


We are hereby forwarding another representation  of the West Bengal Left Front Committee on the candid confession of Sabyasachi Dutta, the TMC candidate for 117-Rajarhat Gopalpur AC (Annexure VI). Dutta, the sitting MLA, and Chairman of the adjoining Vidhan Nagar municipality (whose recent infamous elections have set new laws in the electoral history of the state) has openly admitted that syndicates which build a monopoly control over real estate activities in the New Town area of the constituency fund and provide all his electoral requirements.  We demand that on the basis of his own admission, EC must take initiative immediate action under the Representation of the People Act. 


We had earlier drawn your attention to the obnoxious information that uniforms were being stitched to camouflage civic volunteers as regular state police and CRPF to manipulate elections.  Our apprehensions have come true.  We are forwarding a representation from the CPI(M) west Bengal state committee with detailed information about how such activities have been caught red-handed. These were being facilitated by sections of the state police and for deployment in 275 Pandabeswar, 276 Durgapur Purba and 277 Durgapur Paschim ACs in Burdwan district (Annexure VII).   The letter and the supporting material is self explanatory.  Subsequently, Bardhaman DM has admitted to this charge; but strangely has not initiated any immediate action against the guilty must be initiated and they must be removed from all poll related responsibility.


You may kindly recall that, at the very outset, we had expressed apprehension over the fallout of Ponzi Scheme scams in the electoral funding during the ongoing Assembly elections.  We had been specific about the possible dubious activities of those chit fund owners who remain outside the police and the judicial custody.  We have been complaining for quite some time that Chit Funds, exposed or covert, are still playing nefarious role in elections in West Bengal. The ruling party is using black money, routed through fake companies or chit funds in their campaign.

A recent incident in Onda in Bankura has exposed the nexus. AITC MP Abhishek Banerjee addressed an election meeting in Natun Gram, Punisol in the said constituency on 6th April, 2016. He was accompanied by Chandan Chakraborty, allegedly the head of operations of Pailan chit fund which has reportedly collected crores of rupees from Bankura district. Thousands of villagers were duped and Chandan Chakraborty went into hiding. Villagers identified Chakraborty and chased him in the meeting itself in the presence of MP. Police took Chakraborty first to Punisol outstation and then to Onda PS. Villagers complained to police about the fraud perpetrated by Chakraborty. However, with pressures from AITC leaders police forced some villagers to write a so-called ‘ Compromise Formula’, which allowed Chakraborty to shed his responsibility of paying back money. He was let off from police station.

The incident once again indicates the fact of brazen  collaboration between AITC and chit funds and how the state administration is being run. It also supports the apprehension that illegally acquired money is being used in election.

A scanned copy of the so-called ‘Compromise Accord’ signed illegally in a police station is attached herewith (Annexure VIII). 

Finally, we draw your attention to the confusion created by the substantial discrepancy between the polling figures announced by the CEO office on 4th April at the end of the polling and that announced on April 6th on CEO’s website.  There have been very critical media reports published on this question (Annexure IX). It is necessary that the EC clarifies the actual position to restore the confidence of the citizens in the election process. 


          With regards,


Yours sincerely


(Nilotpal Basu)