Debating India


Post-polls, angry Left to go EC hunting

Saturday 29 April 2006, by ROY*Bidyut

KOLKATA, APRIL 28 : The Election Commission can expect Red heat following the Assembly elections in West Bengal, as the ruling CPI(M) gets ready to corner the Commission and voice its demands for a uniform model code of conduct.

The party’s Central Committee has decided to launch a nationwide campaign to create pressure on the EC, and the decision has been conveyed to the party’s state unit. “We will organise a national debate after the elections to demand a uniform code of conduct - we are just waiting for the elections to end,” said Nilotpal Basu, CPI(M) Central Committee member and MP.

According to a party insider, the top brass is at present discussing the extent to which they can attack the EC, whose diktats and rulings were seen as anti-Left by the party in the run-up to the Assembly polls. “The EC is a constitutional body, and we do not want to intervene in its activities,” Basu said.

The biggest hiccup in the EC-Left rapport is the ban imposed on wall-writings. The CPI(M) alleged that while Tamil Nadu was spared this stringent directive, imposing the same in West Bengal shows a lack of uniformity.

The EC’s directives have played havoc with the CPI(M)’s campaign strategy, as the alternative ways of campaigning proved more expensive and rigorous for the cadres.

According to observers, the party also felt threatened by the EC’s pro-active role - the Commission’s complaint against state Transport Minister Subhas Chakrabarty was perceived to be the most disparaging.

Having criticised almost all EC steps - from roll revision to the poll process - the party did not mince words in criticising the Commission’s move to hold a five-phase polling in the state. The Left argued that law and order situation in the state was not as bad as in Jammu and Kashmir or Assam, to justify the multi-phased polls.

According to party leaders, all these issues will be compiled in a draft resolution, to be sent to all political parties. Party sources said their views will also be incorporated into the resolution.

See online : The Indian Express

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