Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Trinamool demands Lok Sabha elections in Bengal be ‘held in one phase’

- PRADIP CHATTERJEE

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday demanded that Lok Sabha polls to the 42 seats of Bengal be conducted in a single day and not in phases. The full bench of the Election Commission of India (ECI) led by Chief Election Commission­er Rajiv Kumar, held meetings with representa­tives of political parties on Monday morning.

A 3-member delegation met the full bench of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in Kolkata during an all-party meeting and urged it conduct the election in the state only in one phase. The Trinamool Congress also requested the ECI to ensure that Central agencies must not impede the electoral process. The ruling party in Bengal appealed to the commission to make sure

that “Central forces are not pressurise­d by the BJP”.

The Trinamool Congress delegation comprising Subrata Bakshi, Derek O’Brien and Kalyan Banerjee also urged the ECI to accept 11 types of ID cards on the polling day. Terming BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari as a “habitual offender”, the Trinamool Congress urged the ECI to “keep a

close watch” on him.

During the meeting, Trinamool also requested the commission to ensure that voting booths are arranged in multi-storeyed buildings. The ruling party in Bengal also raised the issue as to why the Central forces have been deployed in Bengal much ahead of election notificati­on.

Kalyan Banerjee after the

meeting said that they urged the ECI to ensure free and fair elections and they were ready to accept whatever steps the ECI followed. He said that they have to see if the BJP controls the Central forces.

BJP and CPI(M) on the other hand also appealed to the commission to conduct free and fair elections.

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