BJP resorted to massive poll rigging on April 11: CPI(M)
Agartala,(PTI): The CPI(M) Thursday alleged that the ruling BJP in the state resorted to “massive rigging” in West Tripura Lok Sabha seat during the first phase of elections on April 11 as it was aware that people were unhappy with the pace of development work in the state.
Denying the charge, the saffron party said it was the CPI(M) that had indulged in unfair practices to remain in power in the state for 25 years.
Addressing a press meet here, CPI(M) state secretary Gautam Das said “development work has come to a standstill” since the BJP came to power.
“The massive rigging in the first phase of polls was the manifestation of the BJP’s frustration after realizing that its support base has eroded in the state. They (BJP) have cheated the people of Tripura by not fulfilling the promises made before last year’s assembly polls,” he said.
Hailing the decision of the Election Commission to defer polls in East Tripura (ST) constituency, Das said law and order has collapsed in the state.
He sought heavy deployment of central forces and intensified patrolling in the sensitive areas of East Tripura constituency, which is set to go to polls on April 23.
“Just after the conclusion of the voting process in West Tripura on April 11, we made an assessment and found out that polls were rigged in 464 of the total 1,679 booths.
Later, reports suggested that rigging was carried out in 774 booths,” he said.
The BJP has let loose “a reign of terror” in Tripura, the senior CPI(M) leader alleged.
“The saffron party has carried out a series of fascist attacks in the state. Seven CPI (M) workers were murdered and around 1600 injured in these attacks. “They destroyed our offices, set fire to many houses,” Das stated.
Rebutting the CPI(M) charges, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said “rigging was a part of CPI(M)’s culture.”
“The BJP did not resort to any kind of unfair practices. Rigging is part of CPI(M)’s culture. During the party’s 25-year rule in the state, the Left parties have rigged each and every election.
“We are preparing a document with facts and figures to prove that the Left Front had indulged in rigging during its rule in the state,” he added.
Voting in East Tripura constituency was deferred from April 18 to April 23, with the Election Commission asserting that the prevailing law-and-order situation in the state was not conducive for holding free and fair polls.