CPM taints poll panel, alleges links with BJP

Published on May 06, 2004 05:17 PM IST

The CPM has launched personal attacks on senior EC officials and linked several of their measures for Bengal directly to pressure from the PMO.

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PTI | By, Kolkata

The CPI(M) has launched personal attacks on senior Election Commission officials and linked several of their measures for Bengal directly to pressure from the PMO.

Accusing at least one election commissioner, N. Gopalaswami, of “definite BJP links”, Left Front chairman Biman Bose said the transfer of police officers and the move to draft polling personnel from other states had clearly been prompted by Vajpayee’s charges of rigging against the CPI(M).

Bose told reporters that some political observers chosen by the EC were acting in collusion with the Trinamool-BJP. One such official, he said, was the observer for Basirhat, A.K. Tandon, who had sought a flag march by paramilitary forces at Bhangar.

The CPI(M) would fight it with a ‘counter flag march’, the politburo member said. “How many paramilitary personnel do they have? 1,000? 2,000? We’ll get 20,000 cadres who will march down the street with red flags. We accept the challenge.”

Bose continued to attack Tandon: “He is a Brahmin. He has brought his own cook from Lucknow so he doesn’t have to eat food cooked by Muslims.”

Asked if the EC was yielding to PMO pressure, Bose said, “In certain cases, yes. N. Gopalaswami’s BJP links are well known.”

The CPI(M)’s case was bolstered when state chief electoral officer Basudeb Banerjee admitted he had found “some substance” in the complaints of bias against two observers, which he had forwarded to the EC. Banerjee refused to name the observers.

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BIMAN BLAST

** Election commissioner N. Gopalaswami and EC observers hand-in-glove with BJP

** Observer for Basirhat A.K. Tandon has brought own cook from Lucknow so he doesn’t have to eat food cooked by Muslims

** If paramilitary holds flag march in Basirhat, CPM will take up the ‘challenge’ and hold ‘counter-flag march’ with 20,000 cadres

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