Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dead men voting

Sunanda Sanyal highlights the manipulation of the electoral rolls by the CPM's fabled "election machinery" thanks to which many dead men end up voting for the CPM. Sunanda rues that most of the national media is ignoring the crisis in Bengal. He mentions that the Election Commission has, not surprisingly, detected massive irreguralities in the distribution of voter ID cards.

EC Must Do All It Can To Weed Out Bogus Names (The Statesman, Jan 03,2006)


The other thing that differentiates West Bengal from Bihar relates to the media response to the fraud in the two states. The largest section of the Bihari media and almost the entire national media reported the "murder of democracy" there regularly. In West Bengal, on the other hand, the local media, excluding The Statesman and Bartaman, and two or three TV channels at most, the rest are practically silent on the vote fraud persistently committed by the Left Front. They seem not to mind the massive character assassination resulting from the millions of young men and women being trained to rig the vote, frustrate democracy, and thus betray their own people. The national media, except The Statesman again, are no less insensitive. If they really don't know what is happening in West Bengal then they're not worth their salt.


Another big difference is that vote fraud in this state is centrally planned in Alimuddin Street, every detail of which is carefully worked out and executed. The men and women on the job are mostly, if not all, members of various CPI-M outfits like the coordination committee, Citu, All Bengal Primary Teachers' Association, All Bengal Teachers' Association and so on. They prevent the deletion of the names of persons who are dead or have moved to another constituency, even after the information has been duly provided. The cadres thereafter enlist underage adolescents as also the unborn and exclude the names of those that are unlikely to vote for the CPI-M, even if they have duly applied with all the necessary documents. These fake votes, plus those of yours and mine, wherever we can be scared off are eventually cast by the apparatchiki.

Electoral rolls
Now the electoral rolls, which determine whose votes shall form the government, are the foundation of democracy. If these are fake then the democracy they underpin is reduced to a sham, and the constitutional body that conducts the elections that follow is itself suspect in popular perception. Experts actually say more than two per cent error makes voter lists unacceptable. The EC now knows that they may contain a lot more than that.
The five special teams it has sent in so far have found "glaring irregularities" in the distribution of electoral photo identity cards. Bunches of these, for example, have been handed out to people other than those who are actually photographed. "The Election Commission has directed", it is reported, "that responsibility be clearly fixed for such lapses".
One hopes that the EC, which has acquitted itself so creditably in Bihar, will not end up infamously in West Bengal, where there's absolutely none who has not witnessed vote fraud in some form somewhere. With the election still about five months away, the EC must do all it can to weed out the bogus voters and enlist the genuine ones.



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