Opposition parties on Monday slammed the ruling Trinamool Congress for allegedly attacking their candidates to prevent them from filing nominations for the panchayat elections. While the BJP said that it would move the Calcutta High Court again, the CPM called for a resistance against such attacks.
The government denied all the allegations. “We will move the court against this. Today democracy was killed by TMC workers and there is no rule of law in the state at present. TMC workers attacked our candidates along with candidates of other political parties who had gone to BDO offices to file their nominations. Police were just mute spectators who have been turned into a puppet of the ruling party. Even journalists were beaten up in several places for covering the violence. This is an unprecedented situation in the state and a free and fair election cannot be held under such circumstances,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.
Claiming that the state government and the police have turned the nomination process into a farce, CPM state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra said: “There is not a single district in the state where Opposition candidates were not attacked. This is a dangerous sign for the democracy. Even such violence did not take place during the nomination process till April 9 which was the last date for filing of nominations. The ruling party has surpassed its previous instances after the way its workers prevented our candidates today. There is a need to protest against these attacks and put up a strong resistance. In reality, the people cannot depend on the state election commission and the state government to ensure their democratic rights.”
Echoing similar sentiments, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said, “A dangerous situation is prevailing in the state. In Murshidabad district, the vehicle of our MP was attacked. Our MLA Manoj Chakraborty was hit with sticks in Berhampore. He is seriously injured. Instead of stopping the TMC workers, police are helping them. The people of the state have not witnessed such a scene before.”
Denying the allegations, the Trinamool Congress said that it was a pre-planned strategy to put all the blame on the TMC whenever any incident of violence took place.
“They (Opposition) don’t want to reach out to the people… they don’t want to take part in the election… all they want to do is create chaos in the state. These are all concocted and baseless allegations. In reality, our workers have been beaten up by the Opposition. In Canning, TMC workers were assaulted by CPM workers. CPM, BJP and the Congress have only one aim which is to delay the electoral process. How could they allege ruling party attacks at 10.30 am when the nomination process began at 11 am? These are all false allegations,” said TMC secretary general and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee.
He said the TMC has lodged a complaint with the state election commission against Dilip Ghosh for allegedly violating model code of conduct by “making provocative statements.”
On Sunday, while addressing party workers in North 24 Parganas district, Ghosh had allegedly threatened to turn
children of TMC workers into “orphans” if attacks on BJP members continued in the state.