Agartala: In the first meeting of political parties with Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) as part of the poll preparation to the state assembly, opposition parties of Tripura expressed serious concern over the law and order situation and urged Election Commission of India (ECI) to take necessary steps.
The CEO Kiran Gitte on Tuesday held his first meeting with all the parties ahead of the assembly poll scheduled in February next year to assess the ground situation and to take the views of parties. A day before the start of the summary revision of electoral rolls becomes a ritual to ensure that all the eligible voters should get entry into the list.
Referring to the ongoing violence and criminal activities, CPM and Congress jointly sought assurance from CEO that the entire poll process has to be carried out under Centre Paramilitary Force and keep state police away from all exercises, as it lost credibility and people don’t trust them.
“The role of police in last 56 months and more specifically in Bishalgarh last week, it appeared that police become BJP cadres and they don’t have minimum respect to constitution and laws. Everyday opposition party supporters are being attacked by the ruling party cadres but not a single criminal is booked so far; instead, implicated false and fabricated cases against the opposition,” alleged Congress leader and former BJP MLA Ashis Kumar Saha.
He pointed out that Congress has explained the illegal activities of SDPO Bishalgarh Rahul Das in the meeting and requested CEO to take appropriate action against Das-like officers to ensure fair and peaceful elections and added, “Rahul Das is forcing the people including women to take a
pledge and commit in front of him that they would not work or vote against BJP in upcoming elections.”
The CPM also highlighted that violence and attacks of BJP on opposition supporters have crossed all limits and they are openly threatening the people in front of the police. And, asked unless the opposition cannot do their democratic activities how can there be fair polling so people can choose their representative?
The ruling BJP refuted the allegations, terming them ‘baseless’ and ‘flimsy’ while requesting the CEO to hold the election in time and to make arrangements as per law. The party leaders, however, reiterated that BJP doesn’t believe in violence and that little incidents have been happening these were because of opposition parties’ indulgence and conspiracy.
Meanwhile, the CEO assured the parties that ECI will undertake all efforts to ensure a free, fair, and peaceful election. Tripura has achieved cent percent EPIC cards and has linked the cards to the Aadhaar database of 94.23 percent of voters. As of now, Tripura has over 27.33 lakh registered voters in the draft electoral rolls, which included almost half of the displaced Bru migrants of Mizoram resettled in the state.