"Our aim is to hold free and fair elections", said senior Election Commission official Sudhir Kumar Rakesh.

Dodging queries about the criticism hurled against him and the joint cry of the opposition parties for his removal as special observer for the rest of the two phases, he said, "We will take action on specific complaints when we receive. I am not going to talk with other poll officials about the confidence building measures and the security arrangements to be taken now".

Amidst allegations of violence, rigging and booth capturing by the ruling Trinamool Congress during the third phase held on April 30, the special observer's public posture was "the elections were free and fair".

His statement angered the CPI(M), Congress and the BJP who all doubted the role played by the Election Commission and sought his removal.


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