The CPI(M) Friday claimed their candidates for the upcoming panchayat poll in Tripura on July 27 were being “threatened” and “attacked” by BJP “goons”.
The party said during the nomination period from July 1 to 8 candidates of the CPI(M) and other opposition parties were prevented from collecting and filing nomination papers by armed gangs of the BJP.
“Bike-borne hoodlums of the BJP were stationed before the election offices so that no opposition candidate could collect or submit nomination papers. In most of the places, the police were just onlookers.
“Physical attacks on prospective candidates and attacks on CPI(M) offices and leaders such as on the North Tripura District Committee and sub-divisional office in Dharmanagar were resorted to, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation,” a statement from the Left party said.
The party claimed in this situation 121 CPI(M) candidates were forced to withdraw their nomination papers on the last day of withdrawal — July 11.
“As a result of this terror campaign, after the last date of withdrawal, over 90 percent of the seats in the panchayat samitis and gram panchayats have gone uncontested to the BJP,” the statement said.
For the elections on July 27, there are now 306 candidates of the Left Front in the fray out of 6,111 seats, for the panchayat samiti there are 56 candidates in the field out of 419 seats, and in the zilla parishad there are 67 Left Front candidates for the 116 seats, the party said.
The CPI(M) accused the BJP of repeating what it did in the by-elections to the three-tier panchayats held in September 2018, wherein 96 per cent of the seats the BJP won
“It may be recalled that the BJP had loudly protested the rigging of panchayat elections in West Bengal and had gone to the Supreme Court regarding the matter. It is doing precisely this in a heightened manner in Tripura under its state government.
“The Polit Bureau condemns the BJP’s authoritarian and anti-democratic tactics in Tripura which have made a travesty of the democratic exercise of panchayat elections,” it said.