The Congress on Monday alleged that Trinamool Congress workers were preventing their candidates from filing nomination papers for the rural polls. Claiming they “were caught off guard” by the sudden announcement of the election dates, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said, “It has been done to make sure that the Opposition cannot file their nomination papers. The TMC, along with the state administration and police, has hatched a conspiracy to turn this election into a farce… In Murshidabad district, our candidates were not allowed to file their nomination papers. We will approach the state election commission to complain about this.”
Adhir further said: “The state election commissioner is a clawless tiger. Not all can be Mira Pande (former state election commissioner), who had the courage to move the Supreme Court to deploy central forces for the state rural polls. We had demanded deployment of central forces for this year’s panchayat polls, but the state election commission has not paid heed to it.”
Later, a Congress delegation met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at Raj Bhavan and apprised him of the situation.
Senior CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty, on the other hand, alleged that the ruling party had deliberately misled the Opposition, as only a few days ago, the chief minister herself had stated there is still time for the polls. He said, “We will fight the panchayat polls with all our strength. They (TMC) want to ensure that we cannot file nominations, as they are well aware that a fair election will result in their defeat.”
Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee, however, said the Opposition was giving excuses as they are not confident of contesting the polls. “They are finding fault in everything. They must understand that TMC had no role in announcing poll dates. Instead of moving the election commission and other agencies, they should concentrate on elections,” he said.