Special poll observer Ajay V Nayak on Saturday claimed that the election scenario in West Bengal was similar to the situation in Bihar over 15 years ago, PTI reported. Nayak claimed that the people in the Trinamool Congress-led state “do not have any faith in the state police”.
This [poll] situation in West Bengal is similar to what it was in Bihar around 10 to 15 years ago,” PTI quoted Nayak as saying. “During that time in Bihar total deployment of central forces at the booths was required. Now it is required in West Bengal as the people have lost faith in the state police and are seeking deployment of central forces at all the booths.”
Nayak made the comments in front of state Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab. Nayak was appointed special observer for the state earlier this month to oversee the last five phases of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against Naik’s purported comments about the state, IANS reported. The Mamata Banerjee-led party has accused Nayak of political bias and demanded that he be recalled from the state.
Nayak negated the possibility of a re-election in the constituencies of Cooch Behar and Alipurduar but said that re-polling may be conducted in some of the booths that went to polls in the second phase.
Nayak said around 92% of the booths in West Bengal will have central force personnel in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Jangipur and Murshidabad parliamentary constituencies go to the polls on April 23.
He expressed hope for elections in West Bengal. “Bengal is progressing in a positive fashion,” Nayak was quoted as saying. “Things are improving in terms of election management. I am sure that by the time next parliamentary elections happen, it will not require this kind of security deployment.”
There have been several reports of violence and irregularities related to the election in the state. On April 17, the Election Commission had said it will deploy more security in the second phase of elections in West Bengal than the first phase.
The BJP, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the ruling party have clashed regularly in the district since violence during the panchayat elections last year left at least 18 people dead across the state.