If democracy is to survive, it has to get rid of the menace of scientific rigging in West Bengal because of which the State is suffering under the Marxist yoke for more than 28 years.The Telegraph gloats. Now:
The term scientific rigging was first used by former chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan as he too failed to conduct free and fair elections in the State. Bureaucracy and the police in West Bengal are totally under the thumb of CPM. Its control and command system works in accordance with the wishes of party bosses, leaving the Opposition in pitiable helplessness. For the last three Assembly and Panchayat elections, the entire Opposition in West Bengal has been crying foul.
The psephologists too have been sure that some hanky-panky must be involved, otherwise the results could not have been so monotonously the same. Ponderous editorials in newspapers have expressed similar concerns.
The major initiative taken by the Election Commission this year with regard to the assembly polls in West Bengal is obviously in response to this collective disquiet. It took altogether unprecedented measures to improve surveillance over the poll process. Voting was staggered over five widely-dispersed dates. Paramilitary personnel were imported from the rest of the country. There was a massive mobilization of observers at different levels, drawn from the pool of serving government officials all over the country. The vigil enforced during the campaign and on the polling dates deserves to be described as belonging to the Z-category.
And yet, confound it all, the Left Front has romped home victorious for the seventh time in succession, even as everybody, including the rabble of opposition parties, agrees that the elections have been scrupulously free and fair. For the moment, along with the opposition parties, the psephologists as well as leader writers are stunned into silence.