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CPI(M) writes to CEC over returning officer of Tripura West parliamentary seat

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Alleging that the EC was not responding to its complaints against the Tripura West parliamentary seat's returning officer, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu Friday wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner stating that it was against the poll panel's principle of ensuring a level playing field.
In his letter, Basu said that despite a delegation led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury, there was no "tangible response" from the Election Commission (EC).
"We had complained against the antecedents of the Returning Officer of the constituency whose act of stopping the publication of the CPI(M) mouthpiece in the state was reversed by the High Court," he said.
"Even after such a judicial stricture, which clearly established his bias against the main opposition party, CPI(M), he continues to be on duty as the Returning Officer. This is clearly against the convention followed so far by the Election Commission, for ensuring a level playing field," he added.
He also alleged that a series of violent attacks had been carried out by the ruling party on the CPI(M) candidate and his campaign programmes as well as election offices.
"Now the letter underlines the horrific situation. Meanwhile, I had also forwarded to you the video clip of Biplab Deb's speech which underlines his direct threat against the opposition," he said.
"In such a context, if the R.O. is not relieved of his responsibility and meaningful measurers undertaken to ensure an obstruction and destruction free campaign for the CPI(M) candidate in the state, holding of free and fair polls will not be possible," he added.
"I dare say, that this responsibility is the precise contention of Article 324 for ensuring what we are asking for," said Basu asking the EC to give the party in writing measures it was taking to ensure free and fair polls in Tripura.

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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 6:45 PM IST

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