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Double whammy for Left, CEC returns fire

At a press conference CEC Tandon said criticism of the observers by CPM was "totally unwarranted".
None | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON MAR 23, 2006 08:14 PM IST

These are stressful days for the Left Front in Bengal. After the scare over CPM's state secretary Anil Biswas' health, comes a rebuff by the Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) to Front chairman and CPM politburo member Biman Bose on Wednesday over his comments on the role of election observers in the state.

Moreover, the Left suffered another setback on the exit poll issue when the CEC said that though he shared their opinion, a ban on exit poll during the five-phase election was impossible unless the Union laws were amended.

At a press conference here CEC BB Tandon said criticism of the observers by the CPM was "totally unwarranted".

"The Commission is not happy about certain political parties criticizing the role of election observers. This kind of comments are unwarranted and uncalled for as the election observers were all very senior bureaucrats who have held important government positions and are fully conversant of rules and laws of the land. They are now working directly under the commission and criticism of the observers would amount to criticising the Election Commission. Such comments would not deter the election observers from discharging their con stitutional responsibilities."

On Tuesday, Bose had demanded the EC is sue guidelines to the observers "to stop their arbitrary and whimsical acts".

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