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Basu calls 5-phase election an insult

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Mar 03: Taking a swipe at the Election Commission for ordering a five-phase poll in West Bengal, veteran CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu today (Mar 03, 2006) said it was 'insulting' to the people of the state.

''The EC decision to hold elections in five phases in West Bengal is unnecessary, illogical and insulting to the state,'' he told reporters in his reaction.

Claiming that West Bengal did not deserve to be given a five-phase poll schedule spanning 22 days, Mr Basu said all the previous elections were held peacefully and the state had obtained certificates from the EC itself.

"After the last Assembly elections, Ms.Mamata Banerjee was so sure about her victory that she asked reporters to meet her at the Writers' Building. We got a certificate for good polling from the EC that time also", he said.

This was the first time that Mr Basu opened up himself on the EC's poll schedule. His party had already described the decision as 'unprecedented' and 'discriminatory' for the state.

The EC had announced that polling in West Bengal would be held on April 17, 22, 27, May three and eight while it would be conducted on a single day in Tamil Nadu and in two phases in Assam and Pondicherry.

Stating that never before in the country had any assembly elections been held in five phases, the ruling Left Front said the law and order situation in West Bengal did not warrant such a treatment from the EC.

UNI

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