Alleging that there is “complete constitutional breakdown of governance” in West Bengal, the BJP on Thursday urged the Election Commission to take a number of measures, including action against criminals and history-sheeters, to ensure free and fair polls in the state.
A party delegation, including Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Vijay Goel, met the poll panel, a day after it invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail campaigning by a day in West Bengal for the seventh and last phase of the general elections, following violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata.
“From the reading of the (EC) order, it can be safely surmised that there is a complete constitutional breakdown of governance and law and order in the state… The denigration of the country’s highest constitutional bodies like the EC and the prime minister’s office by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is itself the biggest danger to India’s democratic traditions and its constitution,” the BJP said in a memorandum.
Besides action against criminals, the party also demanded that the EC-appointed observers take charge of non-statutory electoral functions like permissions, deployment of forces and maintaining law and order.
“Senior officers of the CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) like CRPF or CISF of any other force may be asked to personally supervise the deployment of their forces and ensure that act strictly in accordance with the guidelines issued by the MHA,” it said in its memorandum.
Nine of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats are going to the polls on May 19.