The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The elections to 91 municipalities including two corporations in West Bengal held on April 25, 2015 constitute a total mockery of democracy. In these and the election to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation a week earlier, there was a high degree of people’s enthusiasm and a large number of women turned out to cast their vote. However, these innocent people were met with political workers and armed hooligans representing the ruling party in the state, the Trinamool Congress, who denied them the right to a free and fair election. Polling booths were captured, opposition parties agents driven out and voting manipulated. A small contingent of central forces sent on the eve of the election were not deployed by the state government and instead sent for sightseeing. This is a blot on Indian democracy.
In various parts of the state there was widespread people’s resistance against such display of muscle power and manipulation of the democratic process. Many were injured and some are critical and are admitted to various hospitals in the state.
The CPI(M) calls upon the people of West Bengal who have a tradition of fighting against such authoritarian terror and who established a record of restoring democracy through people’s struggles to resist such attacks on democracy by the Trinamool Congress in the state.
A large number of intellectuals and people who had served in high constitutional positions in the country in the past have come together to form a Save Democracy Forum. Leading lights of the movement were also denied their legal right to vote.
The Election Commission of India must review these developments, though these fall under the purview of the State Election Commission and the state government. This is necessary to learn lessons and prepare for adequate arrangements when the state assembly elections are held in 2016.
Date: Sunday, April 26, 2015