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CPI appeals to EC to ensure free and fair elections

Puducherry: The Communist Party of India (CPI) has appealed to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to initiate steps to ensure free and fair elections in the forthcoming Assembly polls in five states.

D Raja, National Secretary of the CPI, told reporters here on Tuesday that some sections were attempting to use money and musclepower in the polls. "The Election Commission should take care to thwart such moves on the part of those using money and muscle power. The Commission should ensure that the polls are held in a free and fair manner," he said.

Raja also termed as "irrational" the move by the Election Commission of India to veil the statues of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and elephant, her party symbol, in UP in the run up to the Assembly elections in the state. Raja also said the ECI should initiate steps to ensure level-playing field for all political parties in the ensuing elections in five States.

The economic policies adopted by the present Congress-led UPA government at the Centre were not acceptable as they would not contribute to the progress of the nation, Raja said. The CPI would continue to launch agitations against the "injurious economic policies of the UPA government," he added.

The Election Commission has announced a seven-phased poll in Uttar Pradesh between February 4 and 28, while assembly elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa will be held in a single-phase.

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