Poll campaign begins in West Bengal with graffiti row

March 14th, 2009 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 14 (IANS) Political parties in West Bengal have kicked off the campaign for the coming Lok Sabha polls with their workers painting a wall of a government building with graffiti, triggering a debate about the violation of the Election Commission’s (EC) campaign guidelines.
The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists and their counterparts in the opposition Trinamool Congress have courted controversy for their graffiti on the wall of a government building in Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency of South 24 Parganas.

The wall of the building, belonging to Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), has been used both by the CPI-M and Trinamool workers for their respective candidates - Sujan Chakraborty and Kabir Suman.

“If it has at all been done, people who have done it, should immediately erase the graffiti. It’s illegal to use any government wall for campaigning,” Trinamool Congress nominee Kabir Suman said.

He also asked people to protest against such acts carried out by any political party before the elections.

“I urge people to complain with the administration if they find any such mistake by the political workers, irrespective of the party,” he added.

CPI-M’s sitting MP from Jadavpur Sujan Chakraborty also condemned the act saying he would instruct his party workers to erase the graffiti.

“I’ll pass on an instruction to my party workers to erase the graffiti from the walls they had painted with my names. It should not be done. We all should go by EC guidelines,” Chakraborty said.

Senior CPI-M leader and sitting MP from Barrackpur Tarit Baran Topdar also faced trouble as his party workers used the popular slogan ‘Jai ho’ with his names in the election placards, violating strict instruction from the party’s state high command.

Earlier, CPI-M state secretary and Left Front chairman Biman Bose had said no such slogans would be used in the poll campaign by the communists.

“It was a mistake. I will ask my party workers to immediately dismantle those boards and tear off those placards,” Topdar said.

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