File photo: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (ANI Photo)
File photo: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (ANI Photo)

TMC cries foul on Bengal poll announcement, others are 'happy and prepared'

  • The TMC asked the EC why the polls could not be held in fewer phases.
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:12 AM IST

Most political parties in West Bengal welcomed the announcement of eight-phase election schedule for Assembly polls in the state starting from March 27. The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, gave a bitter reaction and asked the Election Commission why the polls could not be held in fewer phases as in Assam and other states.

TMC MP, Saugata Roy, said, “We are not happy. If polls can be held in Tamil Nadu in one phase and Assam in three phases there was no need to hold polls in eight phases in West Bengal. The law and order situation is not that bad. It is the opposition and the BJP in particular which is spreading this propaganda. We don’t understand on what ground the ECI decided to hold polls in so many phases. If elections are held for more than a month then people would face harassment as no work would take place. This is an injustice to Bengal.”

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BJP state vice president Jay Prakash Narayan welcomes the move. “We are all prepared. In 2016, elections were held in seven phases. Even though there were six phases, the first phase was broken up into two parts. So it is not a big jump. The ECI took into consideration the ground reality of the state, hence two police observers have been deployed. We are expecting a peaceful poll this time.”

Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said, “the law and order situation in West Bengal has touched the rock bottom. We apprehended massive violence in the run-up to the polls and on the election days. We are happy that polls would be held in eight phases. People should be allowed to cast their votes freely without any fear.”

CPIM leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “Seven phases or eight isn't a factor. Several other factors come into play. The ECI should take actions so that free and fair elections are held. We just want that people should be able to cast their votes”.

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