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Graffiti finger at school

Siliguri, April 9: Trinamul Congress leaders have lodged a complaint with the assistant returning officer of the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency against CPM supporters and the headmaster of a school for violating the model code of conduct by painting graffiti on the walls of the institution.

Vedabrata Datta, a core committee member of the district Trinamul today lodged a complaint with Deepap Priya P, the Siliguri subdivisional officer who is also the assistant returning officer of the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency.

“I have lodged a complaint with the assistant returning officer against the CPM, the headmaster and managing committee members of Kalkut High School located in Burganj gram panchayat of Khoribari block. The walls of the school and the boundary walls have been painted with graffiti in favour of CPM’s candidate Saman Pathak in gross violation of the model code of conduct being enforced by the Election Commission since March 5,” Datta said. The school is 22km from here.

According to Datta, the model code of conduct does not permit the use of an academic institution for political purposes. For public meetings, the party concerned should apply for permission seven days ahead of the scheduled meeting and get a no objection certificate from district authorities.

“In case the assistant returning officer does not take action, we will take the matter to Amlan Baruah, the general observer of election for Darjeling constituency,” Datta said.

CPM leaders have countered Trinamul’s claim by saying that the ruling party had painted graffiti in favour of their candidate across the walls of state government offices.“We were not aware of the graffiti in the school at Khoribari. But now that it has come to my notice, we will take necessary steps to remove them. However, Trinamul has rampantly used state government office walls to write slogans in favour of their candidate, which is also a violation of the model code of conduct,” said Saman Pathak, the CPM candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.

Deepap Priya P, the Siliguri SDO, said she had asked the block development officer of Khoribari to verify the allegation and submit a report.