The Left parties of India – Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party – have issued the following statement:
The last phase of elections for 17 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal has been marked by widespread violence, capture of more than a thousand polling booths, polling agents of opposition parties being driven out and physical attacks on people going to vote in various places.
The Trinamool Congress had launched this campaign of terror and intimidation on the eve of the polling. The entire State machinery and the police have connived in this effort to manipulate the elections.
The worst incident took place in Haroa block in the Basirhat parliamentary constituency where voters going to the polling booth were fired upon. Four persons suffered bullet injuries and 17 others were injured by sharp weapons.
Some of the worst affected seats are Kolkata North, Barrackpur, Ghatal, Dumdum, Basirhat, Bongaon and Diamond Harbour.
Along with the rigging done in the third and fourth phase of polling, this constitutes a brazen attack on the democratic system. Despite this violence, people have been braving these attacks and asserting their right to vote.
It is shocking that the Election Commission has been unable to intervene effectively during this round of polling, even though there was enough forewarning about what was to come, after the earlier two phases of polling.
The Left parties demand that the Election Commission intervene urgently to restore conditions for a free and fair poll. This can be done only by ordering a re-poll in all the affected polling booths in the third, fourth and fifth rounds of polling. It is only by doing this that the sanctity of the democratic process can be protected.
The Left parties call upon all democratic forces to voice their protest against this assault on democracy in West Bengal. The Left parties will organise protests all over the country on May 14 to demand that re-polling is conducted in all the affected areas under the strict supervision of the Election Commission.