Seven-phase polling triggers political slugfest in West Bengal

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 16, 2024 IST

BENGAL

Kolkata, March 16 : A political slugfest erupted in West Bengal soon after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Saturday that the state will vote in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections along with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The ECI's announcement seems to have irked the Trinamool Congress leadership in the state, which since the beginning had advocated for a single-phase poll.

According to the Minister of State for Finance (independent charge), Chandrima Bhattacharya, it is unfortunate that the people of West Bengal will have to vote in seven phases when polling has been scheduled in a single phase in some of the big states.

“The state had voted in seven phases in 2019 as well. The 2021 Assembly elections were conducted in eight phases due to the pandemic situation prevailing at that time. But what was the necessity to announce seven-phase polling in West Bengal this time," Bhattacharya questioned.

She also argued that multi-phase polling gives an advantage to the financially affluent political parties.

“This is because they can influence the voters using their money power. They can use all their resources in multi-phase polls. However, the parties which do not have solid financial backing face problems if elections are held in multiple phases,” she claimed.

Reacting to Bhattacharya's comments, BJP Rajya Sabha member Samik Bhattacharya said the ruling party wanted single-phase polling to ensure that their 'goons' can deprive the common voters of their democratic rights.

“In the case of multi-phase polling, the CAPF deployment in each constituency is much more, which creates problems for the ruling party. This time, the anxiety among the Trinamool leaders is more since they are already feeling the heat of mass rejection,” said Samik Bhattacharya.

CPI-M’s youth leader Sayandip Mitra said that though seven-phase polling is a matter of shame for West Bengal, peaceful polls cannot be ensured in a single phase in the state.

“We have seen the kind of violence and bloodbath that took place during the panchayat polls held in the state last year,” Mitra said. (IANS)

 

 

 

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  • General Elections 2024

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