News Frontliner Web Desk, 05 May 2019: Seven parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal will go into poll tomorrow in the fifth phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election.
An electorate of over 1.1 crore will decide the fate of 83 candiadets that are in fray for the seven Lok Sabha seats of Bangaon, Barrackpore, Howrah, Uluberia, Sreerampur, Hooghly and Arambag. The ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and Left Front constituent CPI(M) are the main contenders in the seven seats.
After failing to conduct free and fare polls in the first two phase of the Lok Sabha poll in Bengal, the Election Commission appointed former Bihar Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ajay V Nayak as special observer for West Bengal to oversee the last five phases of polls.
But things didn’t changed much and widespread violence was reported in the third phase of poll in Bengal; one Congress worker was killed.
Before the fourth phase of the poll in Bengal, Election Commission seemed to have understand the ground scenario in the state and declared that there will be Central Force in 95 percent polling booths. But in reality, Central Forces were withdrawn from many polling stations at the last minute.
Days before the poll in Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat, Election Commission guaranteed that armed Central Forces, will be deployed in 98 percent of polling booths. But on the polling date on 29 April, only 384 polling booths out of 524 polling booths under the three Durgapur Police Station had armed Central Forces.
Though no big clashes were reported in the fourth phase, but there were widespread report of rigging, false voting, intimidation and poling agents of the Left and the BJP being not allowed to stay.
For tomorrow’s Lok Sabha poll also Election Commission has been saying that in all polling stations (100 percent) there will be Central Forces. Election Commission statement said that it will deploy a total of 578 companies of central forces, which will cover almost 100 per cent polling booths.
Special police observer for West Bengal Vivek Dubey said that along with bringing 100 % percent polling booths under the cover of CAPF, the commission has limited the role of State police areas outside the polling booths.
But after the experience in fourth phase, Left parties are skeptical as to what the situation will be tomorrow as far as Central Force deployment is concerned. Left leaders views this stance of Election Commission as another classical case of connivance between TMC and BJP.