Why divide districts? After Mamata, Left objects to EC plans for Bengal polls

5 months ago 14

Election Commission’s plans for West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 have miffed both the ruling Trinamool Congress and Opposition CPIM. Hours after TMC chief and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee alleged BJP influence over EC’s decision to hold Bengal polls in eight phases, CPIM leaders have questioned the poll body’s decision to divide districts into two phases.

The Election Commission on Friday announced the West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. Polls in some of the districts will be held in more than one phase.

Speaking to India Today TV, CPIM leader Biman Bose said that he failed to see the logic behind dividing districts into part 1 and 2.

“Why should it be part 1, part 2.I don't know the reason behind part 1 and part 2. I have known elections since 1958,” Biman Bose said.

CPIM leader Mohammad Salim also questioned the division of districts for polls. “Why should districts be divided in two parts? This is alarming. The same people will be in one part of the district and next in the other part of the district. People of Bengal have understood the game,” Mohammad Salim told India Today TV.

Reacting to the EC decision to appoint two police observers in Bengal, Mohammed Salim claimed that number of observers won’t matter as “on polling day, the EC is always caught napping”.

Earlier, Mamata Banerjee had expressed her displeasure over the EC decision to hold Bengal polls in eight phases, "With all due respect to the Election Commission, I want to say that questions are being raised on why elections will be held in so many phases in Bengal while other states will be voting in one phase. If EC doesn't provide justice to the people, where will the people go."

She, however, said despite "all these tricks", she will win the elections.

"I have information from my sources that the poll dates are similar to the ones BJP wanted. Have the dates been announced as per the suggestions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah?" she asked at a press conference in Kolkata.

BJP national secretary Kailash Vijayvarghia, however, welcomed the eight-phase elections in West Bengal and said that it was imperative to conduct fair polls.

"Along with the announcement of elections, anti-social elements will also have to be controlled for peaceful elections in West Bengal. Also, fair officers should also be appointed in every district of the state so that there is no disturbance in the election," he said in a tweet.

The polling for the West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases on March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. The votes will be counted on May 2.

(With inputs from PTI)

Read | West Bengal Assembly election 2021 to be held in 8 phases, results on May 2| Full schedule

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