Left, Congress, BJP Demand Re-Polling In West Bengal's Cooch Behar

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Out of 2,010 polling stations in Cooch Behar, around 700 'critical" ones were guarded by central forces. The remaining 1,310 polling stations were manned by state armed police.

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Left, Congress, BJP Demand Re-Polling In West Bengal's Cooch Behar

The opposition parties also demanded "peaceful and fair polls in upcoming phases" (Representational)


Kolkata: 

Delegations of Left parties, the Congress and the BJP approached the Election Commission on Thursday with complaints of violence and demanding re-polling.

A Left Front delegation led by Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretariat member Rabin Deb called on Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab, after Cooch Behar's All India Forward Bloc candidate Gobinda Rai was attacked in Mathabhanga's booth number 238, and his car vandalised. The LF leaders demanded punishment for the culprits.

"We also demand that wherever the poll was conducted with state armed police in Cooch Behar, we demand a re-poll. There were as many as 170 booths where there were disturbances," AIFB state committee Secretary Naren Chatterjee told reporters.

Out of 2,010 polling stations in Cooch Behar, around 700 'critical" ones were guarded by central forces. The remaining 1,310 polling stations were manned by state armed police.

Mr Deb also raised concerns regarding upcoming festivals of Ramnavami, 'Poila Boishak' and Ramzan, saying the Election Commission must ensure peace and that voters are not intimidated.

They also demanded "steps be taken for peaceful, free and fair polls in upcoming phases".

Congress Rajya Sabha member Pradip Bhattacharya complained that in nearly 10 polling booths of Cooch Behar's Dinhata, their polling agents were not allowed to enter.

"For peaceful elections in West Bengal, all booths should be manned by central forces," he said.

A BJP delegation led by its state Vice President Jay Prakash Majumdar sought re-polling in a large number of polling stations. He also urged the people to "cast their vote themselves and make their own choice" as the BJP believes in fair polls unlike the ruling Trinamool Congress.

"In our complaint, we have cited the problems in as many as 700 booths. The Commission is looking into the matter," he said, adding that there is still no mechanism where the sensitive booths are decided after holding an all-party meeting.

"Therefore, they (the EC) depend on local intelligence because of which problems arise.

"Today's polls have clearly revealed that the booths which were thought to be peaceful and was guarded by the state police have witnessed disturbances," he added.



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