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Audiotape Of Cooch Behar TMC Leader Allegedly Directing Party Workers to Rig Polls Surfaces

The tape was reportedly leaked from a party workers' rally organised by Khokon Miya. The contents of the tape could not be verified.

Cooch Behar Trinamool Congress leader Khokon Miya has been caught on audio directing party workers to rig the elections at a secret political rally.

Piyush Banerjee reporting for Ganashakti wrote that Khokon Miya said, “Chappa vote needs to be cast, just like last time.” Miya was referring to last year’s West Bengal panchayat elections.

The leader had organised the party workers’ rally in Cooch Behar to announce a clear blueprint on how the elections will be carried out. The audio from the rally had leaked, but the newspaper could not verify it.

Khokon Miya has alleged that the audiotape is fake. However, he also said he has understood “who has leaked that audio”. “I am more concerned about who are working as spies,” he told Ganashakti.

Also Read: West Bengal: Fearing For Their Safety, Polling Officers Refuse To Go For Duty

The seven-phased voting in West Bengal kicks off with Cooch Behar and Alipurduar going to the polls in the first phase. Out of the 2,010 booths in Cooch Behar, 950 won’t be guarded by Central forces. Khokon Miya is well aware of this. In the audio tape he said, “Whatever Narendra Modi can do, he has done. Out of 100 booths, 40 will house paramilitary forces. Not all booths in our area will have them.”

He goes on, “100 per cent votes need to be achieved. Not a single vote can be spared for the other parties. These are the party’s directions. I am giving this responsibility to all of you (party workers).”

Khokon Miya said on the tape, “Whatever sector-fector (sic) is there, it is under the BDO’s (block development office) control. Which means it is under my control. From police officers to BDO officials, whoever will be there, will be working for me. Azizul Miya (TMC block leader) and I are their bosses.

CPI(M) leader Mahananda Saha told Ganashakti, “Under TMC rule, votes have been looted in every election, but never as openly as last panchayat polls. From 4 am to 5 am all ballot papers were used up, and the voting was concluded by 7 am. I did not receive any response after I called the sectors.”

Also Read: EC-appointed Special Observer for West Bengal Attended RSS-Backed Event Last Year: CPI(M) Raises Objection

From Parimal High School in Malbazaar, poll workers will make their way to different areas of Alipurduar. On the one hand, the poll workers are busy at their work; on the other hand, security is questionable. Police forces are ill-equipped, with old rifles. Most carry just batons. Some are old, and one even told the reporter he had no clue why he was sent on duty, as he retires in just a year.

At the high school, the reporter met with a TMC worker, accompanied by a home guard. On hearing the reporter’s credentials, the party worker said, “Write it down clearly, voting will not take place, vote loot will happen just like last time.”

Alipurduar is supposed to house 19 company forces, for 1,274 booths. However, none could be seen at the high school. Alipurduar CPI(M) leader Robin Ray told Ganashakti, “We are not being told how many booths will be guarded by central forces. There is again a possibility of vote loot…”

Cooch Behar CPI(M) candidate Gobinda Ray has sent a complaint to the election commission’s office in Kolkata about Khokon Miya’s audiotape and demanded his arrest.

Khokon Miya told Ganashakti, “No one has contacted me about the audio tape. Not the election commission, police, administration, none. No one from the party has also told me anything.”

On the tape, Miya said, “The night before the election day, all night we will pay a visit to different areas. We will start our work by marking what we will do in which booths.”

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