December 11 and 16. The Chief Election Commissioner should clarify the
1.. Why does Gujarat which has seen largescale communal violence and
an atmosphere of intimidation of minorities require only a two phase
polling when in May 2006 assembly elections in Kerala a three phase
polling was ordered? Kerala had always had only one-day polling with
no history of poll violence and malpractice.
2.. In West Bengal not only was there an unprecedented five phase
polling but the Election Commission made efforts to bring in polling
personnel from outside the state. The reason ostensibly being that the
government employees of the state have political affiliations. Is it
the Commission's contention that in Gujarat the RSS and its outfits
like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad are not entrenched among government
employees. One has only to recall the circular earlier issued by the
state government permitting government employees to participate in RSS
3.. The Commission had violated federal norms to decide that state
police cannot be deployed in polling booths in West Bengal and only
central paramilitary forces undertake duties. Why is it that the
Commission has not considered this step in Gujarat where the communal
bias of certain sections of the police are well known and documented.
The Chief Election Commissioner would do well to enlighten the country
why different yardsticks are being applied?