As we know that India is the largest democratic country in the world. Within this vast country, West Bengal is a small part in eastern region. But instead of good signs of democracy, we see a charade of democracy every time when the election comes; be it a Municipal election, or general election of Lok Sabha, or Assembly election.
The most vital part of democracy is election, and the most vital part of an election is casting of votes by adult citizen of the country without any fear and without under pressure. The election will be called free and fair only if the citizens can come out of their homes, go to the polling booths, and cast their own votes freely. Else the election should be called a mockery of democracy. It is then called dictatorship with camouflage of democracy. This type of situation can be found in the Middle East. But, the tradition of West Bengal has become likewise.
Political parties in West Bengal are not prepared to maintain the minimum right of the voters of the State. They always try to use their power to manipulate the voting machinery where ever they get chances, or within their strong political area. So, ‘unfair election’ or ‘manipulation’ has become a very common phenomenon. There are two kinds of threats are found in West Bengal – one is physically preventing the citizens from casting their votes, and the other is punishment after casting votes according to the citizens own choice.
West Bengal is the most blazing example of a whole State which has not seen a free election for a long time. Political brutality has taken such profound roots in the State under 26 years of Congress tenure, then 34 years of CPM-Left front rule, followed by most recent 5 years of Trinamool Congress administration. The components which have worked sensibly well in the rest of the India to guarantee free and fair elections, have completely paralyzed in West Bengal. The progressing Assembly elections are simply one more indication of this profound established issue. Neither a free and self-governing Election Commission, its model set of accepted rules, or sending of central forces for surveying the polling booths and also the total polling area have figured out how to make the environment that permits citizens of West Bengal to vote freely and without any fear.
Another issue is merciless revenge that anticipates the individuals who set out to deny the ruling party for voting is another matter. Already 3 phases of voting has completed out of the 6 phases of Assembly elections this year in West Bengal. Reports of violence, bombing, frightening to voters, rigging, false voting, murdering, firing bullets to take revenge etc. are coming everyday.
People in West Bengal use various words to show the level of elections by ‘simple frightening’, ‘false voting’, ‘booth jamming’, ‘manipulation in voter lists’ or in a phrase “scientific rigging”. The CPIM led Left Front practised it thoroughly in their tenure of 34 years. The same technique has been adopted by the ruling Trinamool Congress with a year after coming to power with much more perfection and manifestation.
There were only 49 seats during 2 phase elections in West Bengal this year; however around 12 news of deaths have been accounted for. The Election Commission has gotten more than 2,000 grievances – normally 40 protests for each supporters, blaming the TMC for criminal intimidation, frightening voters, assaulting the candidates, and tossing out election agents of opposition parties from ‘polling booths’.