All Opposition parties on Friday demanded removal of special observer of the state Chief Electoral Officer alleging largescale rigging and terrorising polling agents as well as voters in the nine Lok Sabha constituencies, where elections were held on Wednesday.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, “We have demanded removal of special observer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh of the Election Commission as he failed to ensure free and fair polls.
Bose alleged that, “While in Patna, he was a tiger. But in West Bengal he is behaving like a cat. The manner in which he acted on Wednesday telling the media even before elections were over that the polls was free and fair indicates he is serving the interest of the Trinamool Congress.”
“The Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta is also biased. We apprehend polls during the next two phases will not be fair if they are present on behalf of the commission,” he further alleged. The state Congress and BJP too expressed the same and apprehended rigging of polls for the two more phases scheduled on May 7 and 12.
West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Our leaders could not contact him while rigging was going on. We have demanded his removal as we can no more trust him. He had given many assurances but did not implement the measures to be taken to prevent rigging by the ruling TMC.”
However, state BJP president and nominee for Kolkata north Lok Sabha Rahul Sinha met Rakesh and demanded adequate measures be taken to ensure free and fair polls during the next two phases of elections.
“We feel that due to over confidence of the poll commission, elections were rigged on Wednesday. We demand use of Central Forces during the next phases of polling,” he said.
Meanwhile, violence erupted after Wednesday’s polls and continued unabated in the southern districts of the state, parts of which will go to polls on May 7 and 12. Residences of opposition party leaders were allegedly attacked by the TMC workers.