Alleging widespread rigging in the first phase elections covering 14 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, Congress on Thursday demanded that election observers be given the authority to recommend deployment of paramilitary forces.
Alleging that the practice of deployment of central forces by the concerned state government posed a serious problem, AICC secretary Shakil Ansari said, "The West Bengal government deploys the forces where the ruling Left Front cannot rig the polls and don't post them where the front indulge in such practices."
"Because of this problem, service of the central forces cannot be properly utilised in giving security to voters at sensitive areas. As such, central forces should be deployed through election observers," he said.
Ansari was however confident that the Congress would fare very well in the eight seats that it is contesting of the 14 that have gone for polls today.
Accusing the CPI(M)-led Left Front government in the state of not doing anything for the minorities, Ansari said, "The government has not done anything in providing education and jobs for Muslims in the state."