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Scientific Poll Rigging – how the Left Front brought a revolutionary trick

13 April, 2021 13:51:27
Scientific Poll Rigging – how the Left Front brought a revolutionary trick

It doesn’t require one to be a Sherlock Holmes to figure out these days on how the Dance of Democracy in India is often hijacked by unfair poll means. Despite the Election Commission being stricter than ever in poll bound states this year, yet the ways of the 35-year-old Left Front rule in Bengal, has stamped upon us what we always called ‘Scientific Rigging.’

During Left Front rule in Bengal, the rigging started from the Electoral Rolls itself with pre-determined number of genuine voters deleted from the list by local party workers. Once the vote arrived the voters used to realise their names are not there. Since any state’s electoral rolls are not accessible to public, they are easy to manipulate without even the voter knowing till the last step.

But can rigging be really scientific? Surprisingly it can be and can be done in a stupendously organised manner. And now new tricks are being formulated. Take for example the Big Stink, where a strong scent is put by a loyal voter on the party’s key in the electronic voting machine when he goes to cast his vote. Everyone who votes thereafter and chooses the same key has the "scent" transferred to their finger along with the indelible ink. Thus a voter can be tracked as to who they voted for and can be intimidated for voting according to their choice and not as per the party diktat.

Traditionally booth jams were a classical way of rigging to discourage genuine unattached voters from voting. In opposition strongholds, the voting process is ‘slowed down’ by deliberately planting voters in the line whose records are suspect. This is done to hold up the queue and bring down the voting percentage. Another disruptive method is to strategically place those persons in the queue who are "challenged voters" (that is those who either don’t have their names on the electoral list or the correct identity proof) at regular intervals. 

During Left Front rule in Bengal, the rigging started from the Electoral Rolls itself with pre-determined number of genuine voters deleted from the list by local party workers. Once the vote arrived the voters used to realise their names are not there. Since any state’s electoral rolls are not accessible to public, they are easy to manipulate without even the voter knowing till the last step. The system of patronage perfected by the Left Front was such once upon a time, that only party workers were allowed state government jobs and all these people would be on election duty who actually supported the rigging instead of stopping it. 

Traditionally booth jams were a classical way of rigging to discourage genuine unattached voters from voting. In opposition strongholds, the voting process is ‘slowed down’ by deliberately planting voters in the line whose records are suspect. This is done to hold up the queue and bring down the voting percentage.

CM Mamta Bannerjee years ago had argued convincingly, ‘When the Right to Information Act came into force, the people have the right to know what was there in Amanullah's (observer sent by EC to probe into the entire scientific rigging process)’ report, excerpts of which were published in a few newspapers. But we would like to have the full report published by the EC.’ Now its for all of us to find out if in Non-Left Bengal, different political parties again take help of scientific rigging or allow this election to be fair and proper.

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