West Bengal: APDR Statement on voting during May 12

May 15, 2014

Press Statement (Translated from Bengali)
12th May, 2014

Click here to read the statement in Bengali

The people of West Bengal have once against witnessed an example of free and peaceful polling in seventeen seats in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections. Following are some symptoms of free and fair polling: booth capturing, fake voting, stopping voters from getting out of their houses, locality, village or apartment building, not allowing them to vote when they reach polling station, threatening of dire consequences if votes are not cast in favour of the candidate favoured by the goons, beating up to the extent to breaking bones of supporters and workers of opposition party candidates, liberal use sticks, bullets, bombs –all these were part of the elections. Haroa, Basirhat, Bijpur, Bhatpara, Belgharia, Jadabpur, Krishnanagar, Baharampur, Ghatal, from South 24 Parganas to Medinipur, Murshidabad to Kolkata, Kandi to Kanthi – at each and every place, keeping with the tradition of the recent past, full credit for the utter mayhem goes to the ruling party, namely the Trinamul Congress. Nothing could ensure the democratic right of the ordinary citizens to vote or not to vote. Not dozens of observers per seat, not 500 companies of para military, not the loud reassuring proclamation by the election commission. APDR thinks that strong legal steps should be taken against police and administrative officers who have derelicted of their duty and supported criminals who have robbed citizens of their democratic rights. Repolling should be ordered in places where the farce was at its peak.

In spite of all this the common perception is that the voting percentage has been high. What is being ignored is that in many booths criminals have cast 90% of the votes which may have contributed to the high voting.

Be it the para military or the police, armed forces remain dumb witness to every injustice. In spite of knowing this the state is happily meeting demands for more and more para military forces. As a result the citizen space is getting dangerously militarized. APDR likes to draw the attention of all democratic minded citizens and forces to this issue.

APDR thinks that this state of affairs can change only if ordinary people organise to further their democratic rights.

Dheeraj Sengupta
General Secretary