The controversial TMC leader Anubrata Mondal has been put under surveillance by the Election Commission of India (EC). The EC said that the TMC leader and Birbhum district president will be put under strict surveillance in the fourth phase of general election. An appeal has been made to the EC by the West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer to keep the Birbhum TMC president under house arrest until 30th April. The decision was made after the Commission received representations from poll workers saying that they are feeling ‘threatened’ if Mondal, TMC Birbhum district president, keeps moving from one booth to the other on polling day.
According to an official, “Mondal is quite influential. Poll workers have told us that they feel threatened when the TMC leader moves from booth to booth. The decision was made to ensure that they work without hesitation.” In the past also, Mondal has been known being involved in controversies and the Commission had also put him under 24-hour surveillance ahead of the 2016 assembly election in the district. In July 2013, he had asked the supporters at a public meeting to hurl bomb at the security forces including the police forces and burn down houses of those TMC leaders who rebelled in the panchayat elections.
In 2018, he was caught in camera by purportedly instructing his TMC workers to get a party rebel and a woman BJP leader arrested on false case of possessing cannabis. In his defence, TMC leader said, “There are so many BJP leaders, including state president Dilip Ghosh, who have been issuing threats in their election speeches.” He further added, “But they were not kept under surveillance. This surveillance will not work because I have already briefed my party men on the strategy for tomorrow [Monday].” He said that he was put under the surveillance in an ‘unjust manner’.
He said that the EC must have gone ‘mad’ to put such strict surveillance. The leader is not even allowed to use his mobile phone. He is kept under the surveillance from 6 pm in the evening on Sunday till 7 am morning on Tuesday. The appeal to put him under house arrest was proposed so that free and fair elections can be held in West Bengal and Birbhum in particular.
TMC workers and leaders have constantly caused mayhem in the electoral processes. BJP candidate Babul Supariyo’s car was vandalized in Asansol. The elections are in the 4th phase but the TMC goons do not seem to end the poll violence.
Poll violence has become a major concern for the Election Commission during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the ongoing polls, the state of West Bengal has witnessed multiple incidents of poll rigging and violence. Few days back, TMC goons even attacked Chandra Kumar Bose, who is BJP candidate and grandnephew of Subhas Chandra Bose, the great freedom fighter. The ruling government of West Bengal has failed to provide any protection to the polling officials. The polling officers have lost all trust in state security. Nadia Nodal, an officer, went missing a few days ago.
The TMC government, on various occasions, has attacked the democratic process of the elections. It is shameful that the ruling government, instead of strengthening the election process further, is doing everything possible to dismantle it. Mamata Banerjee has failed miserably in upholding the spirit of democracy through free and fair elections.