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'CPM contemplating legal action on poll observers'

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Apr 07: The CPI(M) is contemplating legal action against the poll observers for Midnapore for ordering a raid on the party's zonal office at Keshpur, veteran leader Jyoti Basu today said.

''Is it a land of lawlessness...We are assessing options for taking legal recourse,'' an angry Mr Basu told reporters after the party's state secretariat meeting here.

Hinting that the CPI(M) would wait for the outcome of the inquiry the Commission had ordered following the Keshpur incident, Mr Basu said the party had already written a letter to the Election Commission recording its protest against the action.

Yesterday CPI(M) central committee member Nilotpal Basu wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner while forwarding a party memorandum to allege that the action in which central forces carried out a futile raid on the party office on March 4 was ''clearly illegal''.

Alleging that the whole exercise was aimed at maligning the party and terrorising its supporters before the coming assembly elections, he demanded immediate action against observer Manmohan Singha.

The raid was conducted at the directive of the observer on information of stockpiling of arms.

However, as the raid drew a blank, an angry CPI(M) staged demonstrations throughout the state alleging that action was taken at the instance of the Trinamul Congress, the arch rival of the CPI(M) in West Bengal.

The party was already having a tussle with the EC on the roll of certain observers who, it alleged, had committed several excesses and acted on the basis of false charges of the Trinamul Congress.

The Keshpur incident came a day before the EC filed an FIR against state Transport Minister Subhash Chakraborty for his alleged disparaging remarks against and intimidation of poll officials and the police.

The EC had already ordered an inquiry into the Keshpur incident prompting Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan to seek reports from the concerned observers and district authorities.


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