Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Central armed forces for polls in Bengal

Mamata Banerjee and Mehbooba Mufti, two of the many cry babies of Indian politics, are sounding their disapproval after the 2019 General Elections poll dates were announced by the Election Commission (EC).

While Firhad Hakim, a senior minister of Mamata’s TMC ministry, feels a seven-phase polling stretch in West Bengal is too long drawn out during the month of Ramzan, Mehbooba is crying foul that the Election Commission hasn’t simultaneously announced assembly elections in the state.

Said Firhad Hakim, a confidant of Mamata : “This prolonged polling process will cause a lot of inconvenience to people, especially those from the minority communities as the election will be held in the month of Ramzan.”

Mehbooba wailed her own agony, terming it a “sinister design” that simultaneous assembly elections are not being held in Jammu & Kashmir. “It’s also a tactic of buying time to dis-empower people by pushing an agenda that suits their (Government of India) ulterior motives.”

It’s worth reminding TMC that the caution on the part of EC is to make sure that a politically violent West Bengal doesn’t unleash a cycle of blood-letting during the polls. Hence they have drawn a stretched out polling schedule. Not only polls in West Bengal need enough central forces, enough security would be required for both the candidates and voters to exercise their rights in a secured environment.

Just to highlight, General Elections in West Bengal would be manned by central armed forces given the propensity of violence it usually occurs during an election in the state.

As for Mehbooba, she ought to be reminded that it’s not a constitutional violation if General and Assembly elections are not held simultaneously. Only three times in the past –in 1977, 1996 and 2014—were elections held simultaneously in J & K.

Omar Abdullah, leader of National Conference, increasingly sounds like Arvind Kejriwal these days—similarly shrill and shallow. He has thus pitched in on the matter: “Well done Modi sahib, 56-inch chest failed.” While on Kejriwal, his AAP leader Sanjay Singh has accused the EC of delaying the announcement of poll dates so that Modi could indulge in more and more rallies.


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