BJP trying to change system of polling agents in Bengal: TMC complains to EC


Kolkata (West Bengal): Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to change the process of polling agents in West Bengal, as the polling for the first phase of state assembly elections is underway.

Speaking to the media, TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay informed that a nine-member delegation from the parliamentary party visited the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), submitting a memorandum against BJP’s proposal to change the existing procedure on booth agents.

“We have submitted a memorandum saying that the previous system of the booth agents, or polling agents, he must be a voter of the concerned booth and must contain his identity with IDs with the same booth,” he said

“But now the BJP has submitted a memorandum requested the Election Commission (EC) to change the system and to allow anybody at any booth, whoever is the resident and the voter of that existing constituency,” he said.

The TMC MP said that this system was ‘not acceptable’ to the party, as it was not possible for a presiding officer to detect a person who is not belonging to that booth or a police station.

“Our demand from the second phase to the eighth phase is that in the system of deploying the polling agent, he must be a local resident or voter of the concerned polling station or booth,” he added.

Bandyopadhyay also said that the state CEO has assured that he will send TMC’s representation to New Delhi within three hours.

While replying to a query on fears of a TMC defeat, he said: “TMC is people’s party. Its power is people’s power. All things will be cleared when the results come on May 2.”

Polling for the first of the eight-phase assembly polls in West Bengal began at 7 am on Saturday with voters deciding the electoral fate of 191 candidates, including 21 women, in 30 constituencies.

The state is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, BJP and the Congress-Left alliance.

Both the ruling TMC and BJP are seeking to outdo each other in poll promises and campaign rhetoric. While the BJP is striving to form its first government in the state, the TMC is fighting hard to establish its third time in the state. (ANI)