Affected and injured polling staff will be compensated: Bengal election commission

The joint forum of state government employees has blamed the "utter mismanagement" on part of the state election commission for the plight of the polling officers.

West Bengal State Election Commission (photo: IANS)
West Bengal State Election Commission (photo: IANS)
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IANS

The presiding officers, polling officers and other staff affected or injured in the election related violation during the panchayat elections in West Bengal will be compensated, the state election commission has announced.

On Saturday, several reports surfaced about the polling officials being heckled and assaulted in different pockets of the state especially in those places where the poll- related clashes and violence was rampant.

Many of the polling officers and polling were seen totally breaking down in tears in front of the camera, some were hospitalised with injuries and some were in utter trauma even hours after the polling time was over after witnessing the unprecedented violence unleashed in front of their eyes.

Many of these affected polling officials and staff, some of them being school teachers, said in front of camera that they will not be attending poll- related duties in future. Observers feel that the decision to compensate the affected polling officials and staff were taken to cool down their growing grievances against the commission and the state government, as many of them alleged that such unprecedented violence was because of the ineffective deployment and utilization of the armed forces.


The joint forum of state government employees has blamed the "utter mismanagement" on part of the state election commission for the plight of the polling officers.

"Since the beginning we had been claiming that the safety of the polling officials cannot be ensured without proper deployment of central armed forces. But on the polling days the on- ground presence of the central forces was hardly visible. The commission has failed miserably in ensuring the safety of the polling officials as per the order of the Calcutta High Court. So we have decided to file a contempt of court petition against the state election commissioner, Rajiva Sinha and other commission officials at the Calcutta High Court," said the joint forum convener, Bhaskar Ghosh.

On Sunday, state Congress president and five- time party Lok Sabha member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee will be given a fitting reply by the people of the state because of the violence on Saturday.

"Mamata Banerjee would have remained the chief minister even if her party had lost in some seats in the rural civic body polls. But as we all know that she wants total opposition- free rule in the state. How much more blood will quench her thirst?" Chowdhury questioned.

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