While accusing the West Bengal government and state police of “declaring a war on the people”, the CPM Sunday announced to hold a condemnation programme on October 5. Senior party leaders claimed they had feared such violence during the elections to Bidhannagar and Asansol municipal corporations and said that “opposition towards such lawlessness” would be the key agenda in their fight against the ruling Trinamool Congress ahead of the Assembly polls.
Prior to polling on Saturday, the CPM had begun an extensive campaign encouraging voters to come out and vote. Former minister Aseem Dasgupta had told The Indian Express: “I have been urging people to vote early in the morning because that’s when we expect the trouble and disruptions by Trinamool Congress hooligans to be the least.”
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The CPM pamphlets and posters issued prior to polling on Saturday had a clear message – “Nijer vote nije din (Cast your vote yourself)’’ —- a reference to the fear that the Trinamool workers may capture booths.
Explaining the move, a senior CPM leader said, “The idea that most people have is that the Left Front is a party made up of hooligans. So our strategy right now is two-fold. We speak about issues in sync with our ideology while moving with the times and secondly, point it out that it is the TMC, which is a party synonymous with lawlessness”.
Senior CPM leader and secretary of party state unit Surjya Kanta Mishra said in a statement, “People are being robbed of their voting rights as the ruling party has now teamed up with anti-social elements and the police forces. We have organised a condemnation day programme on October 5 and democracy loving people should join us”.
The CPM has alleged that in civic body polls, the ruling party brought criminals from other areas to cast vote and capture booths. Mishra said: “We have reports of bombing, firing at various places. People were not allowed to vote and forced to leave the polling booths”.
The CPM has demanded a total re-polling in both Bidhannagar and Asansol municipal corporations.