The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to suspend the candidature of sitting BJP MLA Krishnendu Paul, who is contesting from Patharkandi Assembly constituency.
Patharkandi Assembly constituency went to polls on Thursday (April 1) in the second phase of the Assam Assembly election 2021.
After the polling on Thursday, an election official along with the EVM machine was found travelling in the vehicle of the BJP candidate for Patharkandi seat.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora demanded that the candidature of the BJP leader be suspended.
“To ensure the conduct of free and fair elections is the primary objective of the Election Commission. It is imperative that the EC takes strict disciplinary action against the erring official and suspends the candidature of the BJP member whose car it was.”
“It is my hope that the EC will set a stern precedent with its response to this incident and ensure that no such action takes place that puts the credibility and independence of the EC into question, either in Assam or anywhere in the country,” said Viswam in his letter.
A copy of the letter, which is in possession of Northeast Now, further said the incident was a direct attack on the democratic process of the country.
“It has emerged that an election official along with EVM machines was found travelling in the vehicle of a BJP party member who is also contesting the elections in the state of Assam.”
“This incident is yet another in a series of such occurrences that have brought the independence and autonomy of the Election Commission into question in the past few years,” Viswam said.
Viswam further said the protection of EVM machines and the conduct of election officials must always be exemplary and without blemish.
“There exist strict laws and rules that govern the same and a violation of them must be dealt with sternly. There have been some reports by the media from sources allegedly within the EC claiming that the official’s car broke down and hence the use of the BJP candidate’s car, I cannot emphasize enough that such absurd defenses by the EC would only go to further question its credibility.”
“There exist absolutely no circumstances in which such actions of the official can be justified,” said Viswam in his letter.
Meanwhile, the Election Commissioner has already suspended four poll officials of Assam in connection with the EVM controversy.
While the first phase of Assam Assembly election was held on March 27, the second phase was held on April 1 and the polling in the third phase will be held on April 6, 2021.
The counting of votes for the Assam Assembly election will be held on May 2, 2021.