Hold single-phase Lok Sabha polls in Bengal: Trinamool urges ECI

Kolkata, Mar 4 (IANS): A Trinamool Congress delegation, which met the full bench of the Election Commission of India (ECI) here on Monday, has requested the poll panel to hold Lok Sabha elections for the 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state in a single phase.

Trinamool Lok Sabha member Kalyan Bandopadhyay, who led the delegation, said after the meeting that they have told the ECI officials that seven-phase or eight-phase polling will essentially give advantage to the BJP in West Bengal.

“We also flagged the deployment of CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) personnel in the state even before the announcement of polling dates. As per the information available with us, CAPF personnel are intimidating the common people, including women, to vote for the BJP. They are actually working as agents of the ruling party at the Centre,” Bandopadhyay claimed.

The Trinamool MP also alleged that in reality, the leader of opposition in the state Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, is controlling the movements of the CAPF already deployed in the state.

“How can the common people have faith in them,” Bandopadhyay questioned.

He also said that the poll panel should operate in a transparent and unbiased manner.

“Besides the ED and CBI, even those within the judiciary who are in close touch with the BJP should be controlled,” Bandopadhyay said.

Reacting to Trinamool's demand for single-phase polling, the state BJP leadership said that it stems out of the fear that in case the polls are held in multiple phases, Trinamool will not be able to unleash large-scale violence to terrorise the common voters.

To recall, Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal were held in seven phases in 2019.



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