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Staggered polls unnecessary: Left

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) Disatisfied with the Election Commission's explanation for announcing staggered extended schedule for the assembly polls in four states barring Tamil Nadu, beginning April 3, the four Left parties said the EC had taken an unprecedented decision.

''There is no reason why such an extended polling process is necessary particularly in West Bengal and Kerala,'' CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP said in a joint statement here.

The Election Commission yesterday announced that while Tamil Nadu would go to the polls on May 8, elections in West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Pondicherry would be spread from April to May 8.

The EC on its decision to hold staggered polls said it had taken into account the ''ground realities,'' and availability of paramilitary forces.

The left parties said for first time West Bengal was to have a five-phase process and in Kerala, the polling would be in three phases. ''Kerala has always had a one-day poll and West Bengal had not had more than a two- phase polling.'' ''There has been no satisfactory explanation for this unprecedented decision especially when the Commission has decided one-phase polling in Tami Nadu,'' they said.

The Left parties were, however, confident that the people of West Bengal and Kerala would excercise their right to franchise and effectively participate in the elections on a large-scale.

UNI KSA PA SP1405

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