Vol. XLIII No. 21 May 26, 2019

Hold Repoll in Diamond Harbour

SITARAM Yechury, general secretary of the CPI(M) wrote a letter to Sunil Arora, CEC, Election Commission of India on May 21, on the irregularities in the polling for 21-Diamond Harbour, Parliamentary Constituency(PC) in West Bengal. 

Below we reproduce that letter:

I am writing to you with regard to the reports of large-scale irregularities in the poll conducted on May 19, in 21-Diamond Harbour, Parliamentary Constituency in West Bengal.  Enclosed (Annexure – 1) is a letter submitted by the CPI(M) candidate  for the constituency, Fuad Halim to the Returning Officer, 21 Diamond Harbour PC, which  details the large-scale rigging that was indulged in.

The scale of irregularities are such  that the Election Commission of India, true to the spirit of Article 324 of the Constitution which was invoked by the ECI earlier  for preponing the beginning of the silence period, the ECI must ensure “free and fair” elections by ordering a re-polling in the entire constituency.

Further, a highly irregular incident occurred on May 20, 2019.  The returning officer of 21-Diamond Harbour PC, through a memo number-129(10)/1(8)/RO-21PC/2019, convened a meeting for scrutiny of those polling booths whose scrutiny was not taken up earlier.  When Fuad Halim himself went to attend the meeting, he was informed that some participants objected and hence the meeting has been cancelled.  Since the meeting was convened through a written memo, a similar written direction canceling the meeting was demanded.  In the letter, there is a mention that the general observer present asked for written directions of the chief electoral officer and, strangely, since it was not available, the RO cancelled the meeting and in a written direction informed that the earlier memo has been  rescinded [No. 130(10)/RO-21PC/2019  dated May 20, 2019].

It has been learnt that the objections to the holding of such a meeting came from both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP.  Strangely, the central leadership of the BJP has approached you and petitioned that there should be a re-polling in the entire 21-Diamond Harbour PC. 

It is clear that the state unit of the BJP has entered into an understanding with the TMC for latter’s support for its candidates in certain other constituencies like Mathurapur, Jadavpur etc., in return for the BJP’s support to the TMC candidate for Diamond Harbour  PC, who happens to be the nephew of the chief minister of West Bengal.

These political matters need not concern you.  However, I am beseeching you to look into the large-scale brazen irregularities which are clearly detailed in Fuad Halim’s letter and canceling the poll of May 19 and order a re-polling in the constituency.