Tripura CPIM’s Jitendra Chaudhury Flags BJP’s Alleged MCC Violations In By-Elections

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, August 17, 2023: Tripura’s CPIM Secretary Jitendra Chaudhury on Thursday has lodged a formal complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Puneet Agarwal regarding alleged breaches of the model code of conduct (MCC) by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the submission of nomination papers for the ongoing bye-elections.

In a two-page letter addressed to the CEO, Chaudhury voiced concerns over what he described as the ruling BJP’s fervent display of urgency in the early stages of the ongoing bye-elections in two Assembly seats within the state. He cautioned that if decisive action was not taken to curb these violations, it could potentially undermine the integrity of the entire election process.

Chaudhury highlighted a specific incident from August 16, 2023, where a procession led by Left Front candidates, on their way to the Returning Officer’s office for nomination submissions, was allegedly halted by law enforcement officials under the premise of restricted access beyond a certain point. However, Chaudhury reported that inside this restricted zone, a sizable platform had been erected by the ruling BJP.

The CPIM State Secretary noted that he promptly brought this matter to the attention of the CEO, who in turn relayed it to the District Election Officer (DEO) of Sepahijala District. Subsequently, Chaudhury had a direct conversation with the DEO, who purportedly assured him that no breaches of the MCC would be tolerated throughout the electoral process. However, Chaudhury contended that despite these assurances, several prominent BJP figures, including ministers and even the Chief Minister, employed the erected platform to address a gathering during the nomination submission event.

Chaudhury further revealed that he had previously communicated with the DEO of Sepahijala District on August 8, the day the Election Commission of India declared the bye-election, urging the prompt removal of all BJP government-related promotional materials from the district, given the immediate imposition of the MCC. To his dismay, Chaudhury observed that minimal efforts had been made to comply with this directive.

Expressing his disappointment, Chaudhury criticized the ruling party for its alleged disregard of the MCC. He pointed out that as the governing party, they should have upheld the MCC with responsibility and respect, rather than exploiting it for potential electoral gains.

In a final appeal, CPIM State Secretary Chaudhury implored the CEO, as the highest authority overseeing the state’s electoral processes, to assert their influence impartially and ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders. He urged the initiation of an investigation into the reported violations of the MCC and the subsequent implementation of appropriate measures against those found in breach.


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