BY TC News Desk
Agartala: January 09. CPIM state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury on Monday wrote a letter to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kiran Gitte requesting him to discard idea of formation of Booth Awareness Groups (BAG) in each booth, as the CPIM leader feels that the body comprising Booth Level Officer (BLO) and Booth Level Agents (BLA) in a booth are sufficient.
The letter reads of the CPIM leader read….regarding formation of BAG (Booth Awareness Groups) for each part of the Electoral Roll in Sadar Sub-Division is quite new and an important matter in ongoing election in Tripura.
“I am sorry to say, never this was discussed in any all party meeting held so far. However, we are placing our strong objection on formation of such BAG”, the letter reads.
He further said that there is already an awareness group working in each of the polling booth comprising concerned BLO and BLAs of political parties.
“Then why does it necessitate to be widened with the members of various social groups? The BLOs are directed to select names from various social groups namely, youths, social workers, educationist, NSS activist and NGOs etc. to include in the BAG”, the letter reads.
He further claimed that their experience is that, most of the BLOs are working under duress due to constant threats from the ruling party activists to get illegal and unethical tasks done by them. Besides, some BLOs are very much obliged to the ruling party leaders.
“In such a condition, can you expect, the BLOs will pick up the persons from social groups with integrity and neutrality in each of the polling booths? We believe, practically it will be nothing but a booth committee sponsored by ruling party having seal of the Election Commission. What is the objective of formation of such BAG, what kinds of task will the BAG perform, the jurisdiction of their task etc nothing has been defined. Lastly, While the electors of the state are sharply polarized among the 2/3 political platforms, it is impractical to pick up so many apolitical individuals to form BAG in each of the 3328 polling booths”, the letter reads.
He further requested that CEO to discard this idea of formation of BAG in each booth and said, “So far ‘awareness’ of the electors are concerned, I think, the body comprising BLO and BLAs in a booth sufficient and widening this body with the representatives of various social groups would only create controversy”.