Importantly, the commission said it was being examined if the events of April 1 merited action under Sections 131 and 123(2) of the Representation of the People’s Act (RP Act) and the model code of conduct. Section 131 of RP Act deals with disorderly conduct in or near polling stations and Section 123(2) is about disturbance in the conduct of elections. Banerjee and former aide-turned-BJP nominee Suvendu Adhikari are the contenders in Nandigram.
The EC’s sharp letter drew an angry response from Trinamool leaders. “We have lodged 1,460 complaints with the EC. Till date, we have received responses to only three complaints. And we are a recognised political party. Do we still have to say with what motive and how this Election Commission is working?” Subrata Mukherjee asked. Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien said, “We do not think it is necessary now to respond to the media on this. Let them first respond to a hundred, two hundred more.”
The EC’s rejoinder to Banerjee’s hand-written note, penned while at the Boyal polling booth amid wide coverage by the electronic media, was dispatched on Saturday. The poll panel on Friday evening received a detailed report from special observers Ajay Nayak and Vivek Dube on the incident, and found the allegations to be unsubstantiated.