New Delhi, July 22 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat on Monday lashed out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after a Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislator publicly threatened to decapitate a Congress leader during the fourth phase of the panchayat elections in the state.
"This is highly condemnable. And the reason why this is repeatedly being done by TMC leaders who are also ministers in the government and therefore have a strong influence on the administration also is to subvert the democratic processes in West Bengal," said Karat.
"And since they have the patronage of the Chief Minister herself, they have absolutely no control. So, they attack the courts, they attack the election commission, they attack any and every political opponent and this is an unprecedented attack on democracy in West Bengal. And I believe that the Chief Minister herself is providing patronage to all these elements," she added.
TMC legislator Monirul Islam yesterday publicly threatened to decapitate Congress leader Bapi Dutta.
"Bapi Dutta, it would not take me even a minute to behead you," he said at an election rally inBirbhum district.
The Congress leader, however, reacted sharply at Monirul Islam's verbal attack, and said that the people of the state would give the TMC leader's comments a befitting reply through the ballot.
Meanwhile, two persons were killed in clashes during the fourth phase of the West Bengal Panchayat elections today, stained by violence.
One person, Abdul Mannan, was killed in firing by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the Malda district. The CRPF allegedly opened fire after being mobbed by villagers for beating a Congress candidate.
In another incident a woman, Noor Jahan Bibi was killed in a village in the Murshidabad district, which has seen a flurry of bombings and where three people were killed yesterday.
The violence spiraled in the absence of enough central security forces on the ground, despite warnings of clashes after the earlier phases of polling.
Mamata Banerjee had earlier blamed the state Election Commission for not ensuring enough security for the polls.
13 people have been killed since the polls began on July 11.
Polling is presently underway for the fourth phase of panchayat elections amidst tight security.
The polls are being held in Nadia, Birbhum, Malda and Murshidabad in this phase.
The voting, which began at 7 a.m., will end at 5 p.m. More than 49 thousand, 700 candidates are in the fray. More than 13,800 polling booths have been set up in the four districts.
Since the panchayat polls commenced in West Bengal on July 11, the state has been witnessing violence due to clashes amongst different party workers. Some incidents have led to killings.
The first three phases were held on July 11, 15 and 19. Polling for the next round will be on July 25. Votes will be counted on July 29. (ANI)