Proper elections don’t attract so many complaints: Bengal poll panel

Kolkata, April 18(IANS) – Facing a plethora of complaints regarding unfair practices including booth capturing in the Kolkata civic polls, the West Bengal State Election Commission on Saturday conceded that a properly conducted democratic exercise doesn’t attract so many allegations.

Proper elections don’t attract so many complaints: Bengal poll panel

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Ideally if the polling is conducted properly, you don’t get so much of complaints. We have got complaints regarding booth capturing, booth jamming, false voting and voter intimidation, State Election Commissioner S.R. Upadhyay said hours after the ruling Trinamool Congress claimed the polls were free, fair and peaceful.

Upadhyay said the commission received as many as 60-70 complaints of unfair and intimidating tactics, mostly from the opposition. With nearly 20, the Bharatiya Janata Party had lodged the maximum complaints.

We have received complaints seeking re-polling. We are looking into them impartially. If found to be correct, obviously re-polling would be held, added Upadhyay.

With only three companies (one company comprises between 135-150 personnel) of central forces made available as against the commission’s demand for 50 companies, Upadhyay had earlier expressed his displeasure.

There is a huge gap between the requirement and what has been allotted. So there could be a gap in confidence building measures, he said on Thursday.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have charged the Trinamool with using terror tactics to turn the polls into a farce. The BJP has even written to the poll panel demanding the cancellation of the entire polls.

The Trinamool rubbished the accusations.

The voting was peaceful, free and fair. The way people queued up outside the booths braving the heat is a testimony to that, Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.

Chatterjee’s views were echoed by Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim and Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee.