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EC Puts Controversial TMC Leader Anubrata Mondal Under 'Close Watch' Over Poll Workers' Concern

EC Puts Controversial TMC Leader Anubrata Mondal Under 'Close Watch' Over Poll Workers' Concern

The decision was made after the Commission was told by poll workers that they will feel threatened if the TMC Birbhum district president keeps moving from one booth to the other on the polling day.


Sujit Nath

Kolkata: Hours before the fourth phase Lok Sabha poll on April 29, the Election Commission (EC) on Sunday has put Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal under close watch till the morning of April 30.

On Sunday evening, a senior EC official met Anubrata at Suri and informed him officially that he will be ‘under close watch’ till 6 AM on April 30. Mondal was asked to deposit his personal mobile phones and was requested to co-operate with a Deputy Magistrate. A jawan of the central paramilitary forces will keep an eye on him till April 30.

Reacting over the EC’s ‘close watch’ order on him, Anubrata said, “Such a directive is not going to have any impact on the TMC’s vote share. I personally feel that EC’s surveillance on me will increase our vote share. If they want to take my mobile phones, I don’t have any problem as I can use any other phones. As far ‘close watch’ on me is a concern, I have a principle that during polls I don’t go anywhere. I sit at the party office. I don’t keep my job pending for polling day.”

He further said, “All work related to the poll has already been done. I have already given medicines to those who was having headache, fever or body ache. I hope the polling will be good tomorrow.”

It was learnt that the EC has taken the decision after representatives of the poll workers expressed fear that they will be threatened if Anubrata will roam around from one booth to another.

Speaking exclusively to News18, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Sanjay Basu, said, “He is already under close watch since 6 PM today. I would like to clarify that ‘house arrest’ will be the wrong word. He was put under close watch. He is free to move anywhere but our officials will follow and video graph his movement till April 30 morning.”

Birbhum district has two Lok Sabha seats - Birbhum and Bolpur (SC).

State BJP president, Dilip Ghosh commented on the matter saying, “I think we are giving unnecessary importance to Anubrata Mondal. He is non-factor now as we are winning both the Birbhum and Bolpur seats.”

This is not for the first time he was put under close watch. In 2016 Assembly Polls, EC had put him under a 24-hour surveillance.

Actress turned politician Satabdi Roy - sitting TMC MP is seeking re-election from the Birbhum seat while BJP has fielded Dudh Kumar Mondal. Rezaul Karim is contesting on behalf of the Congress.

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