Shri Nilotpal Basu, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M), had written the following letter to the Election Commission of India expressing CPI(M)’s views in response to their letter dated 17th July 2020 seeking opinions on the modalities to be followed for holding elections to Bihar Assembly.
We are releasing the text of the letter for publication.
(For CPI(M) Central Committee office)
Dear Shri Butia ji,
This is in response to your letter No. 3/10/2020/SDR/Vol.1 dated 17th July 2020 to elicit our views on the modalities which need to be followed for holding elections to the Bihar Assembly and some other by-elections.
Taking into account the conditions imposed by the pandemic and the safety requirements, according the highest priority to the safety of people’s lives, we want the Election Commission to ensure conditions that permit elections to be held on the basis of physical participation of the voters and the political parties. We urge you to ensure that a free and fair election takes place based on the inviolable premise of level playing field for all, as it is clear that exclusive virtual campaign driven activity is loaded in favour of parties which have unlimited financial resources at their command. Therefore, campaign and polling exclusively through the digital mode is not acceptable to us.
We would like that election campaign public meetings by ensuring physical distancing and other such safety requirements, are allowed. Similarly, candidate and representatives of the candidates with a smaller group of campaigners are allowed to visit the homes of the voters subject to maintenance of health and safety requirements.
Indian Constitution mandates the Election Commission to ensure that the holding of elections should be in a manner which does not allow any unfair advantage for any party contestant.
Member, Polit Bureau