West Bengal Verdict “Distorted”
CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat termed the results of the Lok Sabha elections from West Bengal as “distorted”. Addressing the press in New Delhi on May 16, he said that there was widespread rigging and violence during the last three phases of the elections in the state and the entire democratic process was vitiated. “The results do not reflect the strength and support of the people for the Left Front in West Bengal”. He said that the Left Front has won from the seats where the polls were held in a more or less free and fair manner in the first two phases. Prakash Karat said that in 32 out of 42 constituencies in the state, there was widespread rigging and violence and these have been widely reported in the Bengali media. But the Election Commission has failed in its duty of ensuring a free and fair poll. “The Left, the Congress and the BJP together had demanded re-poll in 3200 booths where rigging was done, but the EC had ordered re-poll only in 16 booths. There is something wrong with the election machinery.” He said that during the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections the Party had raised the issue about the role of observers who are sent to the constituencies. Prakash Karat pointed out that “there is something defective as there are no clear guidelines about how these observers should act”. Answering a question about the fall in percentage of votes polled by the Party in Bengal, Prakash Karat said that “the percentage of votes does not reflect the correct picture as there was widespread rigging.” He termed the drop of over 11 per cent vote since the last assembly elections as “unacceptable”. This does not reflect the true situation, he said. Our immediate concern will be taking our Party and the movement ahead in West Bengal, irrespective of the election results, he added. About the outcome of the elections at the national level, Prakash Karat said though the Party had worked for the rejection of the Congress, it is not happy with the outcome, as the main benefit of the anti-Congress mood has gone to the BJP.