Why 8-phase polls in Bengal, asks Left

The Left parties questioned the eight-phase poll schedule for West Bengal, saying the Election Commission of India (ECI) failed to give a credible justification for stretching the polls to nearly a month.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the ECI should have explained the reason for this, when in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry polls could be wrapped up in a single day and in Assam in three phases.

“These elections are going to be crucial. The overall objective today is to keep the BJP at bay, which is making all unscrupulous attempts in order to capture power in these States. In Bengal, the basic alternative that is emerging, on the strength of the people’s struggles in the past few months, braving the repression of TMC government, is the secular democratic alliance of the Left-Congress,” he said.

To defeat the BJP in Bengal, it was necessary to defeat the incumbent TMC government, which he alleged facilitated the BJP’s entry into the State. “The anti-incumbency against the TMC government is feeding the BJP,” he added.

In Kerala, he stated, the LDF was poised to return to power, which would be unprecedented in the State.

CPI general secretary D Raja said the ECI should have explained the apprehensions because of which they were extending the polls over eight phases in Bengal. “The ECI should have given convincing reasons for it.”

CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said in a tweet, “Five-day test match in Chennai becomes a two-day affair in Ahmedabad. One-day election in Tamil Nadu gets stretched over eight phases in West Bengal. Can any of you explain this numbers game?”

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