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Bengal results prove EC wrong:CPI(M)

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, May 11 (UNI) ''Bengal is not Bihar,'' irate CPI(M) leaders had said, asserting that ''free and fair polls'' had voted to power the longest-running elected communist government in the world.

As results of the just-concluded marathon five-phase elections were declared and the Left stormed to power with a resounding four-fifths majority, the ruling communist coalition has reason to smile.

Although the ''Bihar model'' was implemented by the Election Commission, which often locked horns with the CPI(M) over the elaborate and intensive polling arrangements, the West Bengal electorate has refused to put the brakes on the Left's uninterrupted 29-year-rule.

While the Bihar results led to the exit of the entrenched RJD regime in the state, the communists, defying all laws of incumbency, have retained power for a record seventh time and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is all set to embark on a second term in office.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose derided the Election Commission, saying, ''By now it must have realised that polls have always been fair and are held differently in the state''.

''Elections are always fair in the state. The result is just a reflection of the truth,'' Mr Bose told reporters while addressing a press meet at Alimuddin Street this evening.

''The EC has learnt first hand about the way polls take place in Bengal. The only thing is they spent a huge amount of money to gain this experience,'' he said.

Veteran Marxist leader and former five-time chief minister Jyoti Basu said the Left Front's return to power with such a huge margin for a seventh term was an unprecedented feat in Parliamentary democracy.

''I am overwhelmed. I expected our party to win, but not with such magical numbers,'' said Mr Basu, who has been steadfast on his stand that the EC's elaborate measures were redundant as the Bengal polls had always been fair.

Meanwhile, a vociferous Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty, who won the Belgachia East seat, renewed his tirade against the Election Commission once the people's mandate was declared.

''The people have been able to unmask the EC's face. They have proved the EC wrong. They have shown that voting is done in a free and fair manner in this constituency like in entire West Bengal,'' Mr Chakraborty said.

''I am thankful to the people for proving the EC wrong,'' he added.

UNI RR-BA/AK RS2025

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