New Delhi: CPI(M), which has been complaining of large-scale poll irregularities in West Bengal, on Thursday said the Election Commission was not able to capture videos of booth capturing at several polling stations as the cameras were either covered or their direction turned away from voters to prevent recording of the poll process.
Referring to reports of "large-scale terror, intimidation and booth capturing", it said the EC apparatus "did not manage to capture such booth capturing through their video surveillance which was severely lacking in many crucial polling booths, in addition to the fact that no central paramilitary forces were deployed there".
Asking the EC to take action "to correct the consequent distortions", senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said TV channels and private individuals "have recorded how TMC goons were forcibly voting for individuals who went to vote and such recordings have gone viral on social media networks."
Observing that the EC had not acted on the complaints during the third phase of polling in the state, he said this has "clearly encouraged the TMC to indulge in similar malpractices distorting democracy in the fourth phase".
"If the present complaints, such as video cameras being forcibly covered or their direction deliberately turned away from voters, also go unaddressed, then polling in the last and decisive phase where elections to 17 out of the 42 seats in West Bengal will take place, will be once again marred by large-scale irregularities," he said in an editorial in the party organ `People`s Democracy`.
The charges against TMC of "large-scale use of terror, intimidation, use of muscle and money power by parties like Congress, BJP and the Left deserve proper consideration by the EC and action taken to correct the consequent distortions".
Yechury also accused the BJP and TMC of indulging in "a new version of match fixing in the new IPL cricket season", saying this was "a battle for the consolidation of respective vote banks widening the communal divide".
The war of words between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee was designed to consolidate hardcore Hindutva support base behind BJP and ensure that the minorities remain supportive of TMC in order to prevent the return of those disillusioned with TMC to the Left fold, he said.
BJP President Rajnath Singh had also spoken about "a handsome `Bengal Package` cementing post poll Trinamool support to a BJP government. Such is the characteristic double speak of the RSS-BJP," Yechury said.