23 April, Kolkata
Campaigning ended on Saturday for the fourth phase polling to be held on Monday in West Bengal. In this phase, voting will be conducted for 49 Assembly seats spread across the North 24-Parganas and Howrah districts of the state. Over 1.07 crore voters are enrolled to exercise their franchise on Monday
Amid the last-ditch campaigning by senior Central leaders of various parties; BJP, CPI-M and Congress again demanded strict measures from the Election Commission to ensure terror and violence free polling during the remaining phases of voting. The parties questioned the role of the state CEO alleging that his office has failed in providing the people the desired peaceful environ necessary for un-intimidated and peaceful voting. A delegation of the party also submitted a complaint about this to the CEO on Saturday.
Alleging that one of the active members of the pro-TMC state workers’ organisation is working in the CEO’s office on a significant post, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that this officer is monitoring the electioneering as an agent of the ruling party. He demanded that the concerned officer should be removed immediately.
The BJP workers have been at the receiving end of the torture and attacks by the ruling party supporters and repeated complaints till date have failed to elicit any action from the Commission, he alleged at a Press conference.
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, at another media-meet said, four party workers were killed in the last round of polling while three fell to the TMC attacks earlier since the start of electioneering in the state.
Terming the ongoing poll-related violence in the State unprecedented, Mr. Yechury said the Left will not succumb to the TMC’s politics of terror. He alleged that without the TMC chief patronising her corrupt leaders, Narada sting would not have happened.
Before the lull fell in, in the 49 constituencies on Saturday evening, the campaigning reached a crescendo.
Election Commission has geared up its preparations with precautionary measures to prevent repeat of the sporadic and stray poll-violence seen during the third phase and in its aftermath. The Commission warned today of strict action against officers who will fail to take preventive measures to check intimidation and violence.
Responsibility of the law-enforcers will be fixed and perpetrators of violence will be booked irrespective of political affiliations.
The Commission has also banned publication of political advertisement which are not certified by the stipulated agency in the newspapers of the state tomorrow and on Monday.