October 16, 2013

Ballot Papers Printed after Results To Manage Manipulations in Counting

Kolkata: THE ruling party along with the state's administration has turned the recent panchayat election into a farce in one third of the state. Now, with a motive to hide their gruesome manipulation at the time of counting, ballot papers are being printed in secret. On August 26, the leader of opposition, Surjya Kanta Mishra, made this serious allegation while addressing a press conference in the assembly. He had brought a motion in the assembly on the atrocious acts of violence at the time of the panchayat election that is still continuing. But the assembly speaker ruled it out. In protest, the Left Front staged a walk-out in the assembly but after a while they entered again to take part in the important discussion on the burning problem of the masses.

Later in the day while addressing a press conference Surjya Kanta Mishra said in connection with the panchayat election that the ruling party has continued with endless violence. They had indulged in fraud and malpractices at the time of counting also. The election commission has not been able to upload till date in the website information regarding details of votes in districts like Burdwan. It is because the ruling party has conspired with a section of the administration in tampering the counting process in the panchayat election. In counting centres, there were widespread tampering and forced manipulation of results. And now the account of ballots will not match with the results. This is the reason for which the election commission could not upload the result of Burdwan district. In all the districts the District Magistrate is the election official on behalf of election commission. The ruling party is continuously mounting pressure on them.

He said we have information that fresh ballot papers are being printed. This is to keep parity with the final result of the voting ballot papers are being stamped. We have news that somewhere near Durgapur, ballots are being printed afresh so that they can be stamped and their tampered result can be shown in accounts. If any case is registered in the court then they can hush up the matter. This is also something unusual that after counting re-elections are being held.

Mishra said in spite of all such deprivation and instances of vulgarism, Left Front has contested in 81 per cent of the seats. In one-fifth of the total seats, Left Front has not been allowed to contest. Apart from this, many Left Front candidates were not allowed to campaign even after filing nominations. They had to abandon their houses and live elsewhere. From the time of filing nomination to election campaign, the ruling party resorted to violent domination. On the day of the election, in some places there was partial capture of booths, while in some others, the booths were fully captured. The ruling party did not allow free and fair elections to be held in around 12,000 seats. In the assembly session the government refused to allow the discussion on panchayat elections as they are scared about the truth coming out.

CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee in its meeting on August 22 while reviewing the results of the just concluded panchayat election, was of the view that wherever elections could be held combating the terrorisation and maintaining intimate relationship with the masses, results for the Left Front has been positive.

In a statement after the meeting, it was pointed out that the panchayat elections were held amid widespread violence in the rural areas. The ruling party and the state administration turned it into an undemocratic process right from filing of nomination to withdrawal, campaigning and counting. People’s verdict has not been properly reflected. Even after this the ruling party has continued with its path of violence, arson to capture the Boards. The Left Front and the Party activists and sympathisers have risked their lives and fought bravely to combat the attacks perpetrated throughout the election. Specially many new activists have faced the challenge valiantly.

It said that the review work is on but primarily it has been found that due to violence, candidates could not file their nominations in 5206 Gram Panchayat, 782 Panchayat Samity and in 8 Zila Parishad seats. Even after filing of nomination, candidates have been compelled to withdraw in 2176 seats. Barring one district, the ruling party totally captured 3834 booths and partially captured 2309 booths and has resorted to rigging ruthlessly. At the time of counting, leaving four districts, it has been found that in 1486 Gram Panchayat, 363 Panchayat Samity and 58 seats in Zila Parishad rigging has been practiced in the counting centres or results have been overturned and the seats have been captured by the TMC. In spite of all these, the percentage of votes captured by Left Front in 16 districts is 37.97 per cent. TMC has got 43.03 per cent. The Left Front got more than 40 per cent votes in 4 districts, 37-40 per cent votes in 6 districts.

The state committee also noted the rampant use of money power by the TMC in these elections. In the analysis of the results of the election, along with the political situation, the organisational weakness of the Party, weakness in maintaining mass contact, weakness in running panchayats has also been pointed out. More detailed analysis of the results will be done at every level of the Party.

The meeting was attended by Pparty’s general secretary Prakash Karat who called for continuing the struggle for maintaining democracy, combating the attacks of the ruling party and its government.

Karat explained the decisions taken in the just concluded central committee meeting. He said economic condition is deteriorating at a rapid and grave pace. Movement will be launched across the country on the issues of price rise, unemployment, food security, wage, land etc. Central gatherings will be held in the state capitals on alternative policy. It shall start with the Chennai rally. Emphasis shall be paid on country-wide campaign against communalism. In this context, a central convention will be organised in Delhi with other secular parties.

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