Friday, January 20, 2006

Election Updates

The election commission has announced that elections in Bengal will not be delayed so we might not see a "mass uprising" of the comrades. The Statesman writes about the tension in Alimmuddin Street till the Election Commission's final decision was announced.

CPI-M top guns today accused the Congress of trying to postpone the Assembly election in West Bengal with a plan to hold it under President’s rule.
Seemingly apprehensive about such a possibility, CPI-M state secretary Mr Anil Biswas insisted on the completion of the multi-phased poll in the state latest by 15 or 17 May, allowing the time needed for counting of votes as well as the constitution of a new Assembly and the formation of a government before the term of the present House ends on 11 June.
Defending his yesterday’s threat of a “mass upsurge” in the state in the event of a postponement of the state poll as “a conscious and deliberate call,” Mr Biswas cautioned the EC that “the history of 1969 would be repeated” if the Assembly poll is not held by 15 or 17 May. “I did not call for civil war but organised mass action. There is nothing unconstitutional about it,” he maintained.
Tension was evident at the party state headquarters this evening as Mr Biswas awaited the Election Commission’s decision following the submission of reports by the 19 EC observers for West Bengal.
As soon as reports poured in from Delhi that the CEC, Mr BB Tandon, would neither send a fresh batch of observers, at least for now, nor defer the deadline for disposal of allegations regarding voters’ list, the tension eased off.
The CEC only ordered strong action against “negligent” officials and compliance with EC’s orders on revision of voters’ list by 31 January.
“We are highly satisfied and appreciate the EC’s directives. Action must be taken against erring officers,” said a relieved Mr Biswas.
Yesterday, he had trained his guns against the EC for sending observers to scrutinise the allegations over fake voters and blasted the latter for “exceeding its brief”. But today, Mr Biswas toned down his tirade against the poll panel. “My words were meant not for the EC but for other forces who are trying to postpone the poll,’’ Mr Biswas said.
“Some Congress leaders are trying to postpone the poll on the ground of flawed voters’ list. Congress is a old hat in hatching such conspiracies. It’s not possible to prepare a completely accurate electoral roll as some voters may die a natural death on the day of the poll,’’ Mr Biswas quipped and added: “Hopefully, the Centre has learnt a lesson from the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly.” Mr Biswas pointed out that the Supreme Court’s verdict on the dissolution of Bihar Assembly was due shortly.
The CPI-M general secretary, Mr Prakash Karat, who was in the city today, echoed Mr Biswas and said: “I don’t think the Centre is planning something arbitrary... We’ll take up the issue if they go beyond the prescribed norms.’’



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