Kolkata, July 24 (IANS) Expressing concern over the rising incidents of panchayat poll violence in West Bengal, Minister for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) K.H. Muniyappa Wednesday urged the state government to take steps for maintaining law and order.
"It is the duty of the state government to protect the people of Bengal. I appeal to the state government to maintain law and order," Muniyappa said at a media meet here.
He was answering a question over the alleged unrest in the countryside where 23 people have died in violence related to the rural elections.
"We are concerned over the situation. The Congress workers and supporters were attacked and beaten up," the minister said.
State Congress leader Manas Bhunia alleged the Trinamool Congress government headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had been breaching court orders and ignoring advice of the State Election Commission.
Bhunia said during the 34 years of the Left Front rule, around 6,850 Left candidates won the rural body polls uncontested. "But in only two years of the Trinamool rule, 6,625 of their candidates have emerged victorious without contest".
Bhunia said it was a "matter of shame" that 75 lakh voters were deprived of exercising their franchise as the Trinamool candidates were the only ones in the contest.