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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

EC gets over 800 complaints from parties in third phase

Avishek G Dastidar, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 26, 2011
First Published: 00:18 IST(26/4/2011) | Last Updated: 00:45 IST(26/4/2011)

Political mudslinging is at its peak in West Bengal. The warring politicians have lodged complaints with the Election Commission accusing each other of virtually every wrongdoing conceivable.

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The campaigning for the third phase of polling for areas including Kolkata ended on Monday with the Election Commission so far receiving close to 800 complaints.

After Wednesday's polling, three more phases of voting remains, and commission officials in Kolkata said the number of complaints was sure to escalate further.

The number of alleged violations of the model code of conduct by candidates alone is 141. The other "offences" include money laundering, deploying helicopters and using of what parties called "filthy language maligning the genteel political culture of West Bengal."

The deluge of complaints has made the commission officials in Kolkata to ask its district offices to screen them at their level. "We are keeping our fingers crossed. We hope the number of complaints don't go up. We are investigating," said Sunil Kumar Gupta, chief electoral officer of West Bengal.

The CPIM is ahead of its rivals in complaining. Some of the "high-profile" complaints the commission is probing are from the Marxists alleging that Mukul Roy, TMC general secretary and minister of state for shipping, had distributed R33 crore among party candidates and had issued party donation coupons to hide the source of money. The CPM also complained about Mamata Banerjee using helicopters. The TMC officials have maintained that the choppers were a "help" from ally Congress.


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