Prohibitory orders promulgated within 100m of polling stations: EC
The EC had issued a notification on April 23, two days ahead of the poll which was held in Howrah and North 24 Parganas on 25 April. The Opposition and a section of the media deliberately distorted the order and began to telecast that the order was for the entire constituency. This created utter confusion among the voters.
Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy wrote a letter to the EC requesting it to specify whether the prohibitory order was meant for the entire constituency or within 100 metres from the polling station which was the usual practice.
The EC said that the prohibitory order was issued to stop unlawful assembly near polling stations.
A senior official of EC said that of the complaints received so far, most of them were found to be false. These complaints were lodged by the Opposition. He said that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders of North 24 Parganas had called up a micro observer and informed him that some party workers were confined in a room of Khardah. On reaching the spot the observer found that there was no one.
Similarly, another micro observer received a phone call that TMC workers had opened fire at CPI(M) supporters at Nimta. On reaching the spot it was found that some youth were bursting crackers. Most of the time the addresses given are false and phone calls are being made late in the night.
It may be recalled that on the second day of the first phase of election CPI(M) and Congress had lodged complaints that a youth with arms was found loitering near the polling station. This was being telecast at a vernacular channel. However, it was found that the video was doctored.
On April 11, 1,878 complaints were lodged with the commission and most of the complaints were found to be baseless. Most of the complaints were on intimidation of voters and not allowing CPI(M) polling agents to sit inside the booths. They were found to be false.
Citing an example the officer said the CPI(M) and Congress had lodged complaints that bombs were being freely hurled at Patrasayer in Bankura on April 11. On inquiry it was found that crackers were been set off to ward off elephants.
The officer said on April 25 a series of complaints were lodged against TMC by CPI(M) in North Kolkata about intimidation of voters. But on inquiry it was found that the allegations were false.
It may be mentioned here that CPI(M) has taken a policy to lodge as many complaints as possible to the EC just to keep it under pressure. Accordingly, CPI(M) leaders are going to the Commission every day along with their Congress friends to lodge complaints against the Opposition.
Deepa Das Munshi has even demanded restrictions on the use of cell phones. “This is an absurd demand. We are asking people to get in touch with the EC officials but its restrictions is not possible, “ he said, adding making false complaints to the EC is done in bad taste and should be avoided by responsible political parties.