'CPI-M, Trinamool together killing Congress activists'

Kolkata, July 21 (IANS) West Bengal state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya Sunday alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition CPI-M have joined hands to kill Congress activists during the ongoing five-phase panchayat polls in the state.

"Number of murders are taking place. The Trinamool Congress and CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) have joined hands to start a politics of killing against the Congress," Bhattacharya said at a rally here.

The Martyrs' Day rally was organised by the state Youth Congress to commemorate the death of 13 party activists in police firing during an agitation in 1993.

"An atmosphere of terror has been created ahead of the fourth phase of the (panchayat) polls tomorrow (Monday)," Bhattacharya said, adding that five of his partymen have been killed in Murshidabad district alone.

The Congress strongholds of Murshidabad and Malda, besides Nadia and Birbhum - two other districts where the party has base - are going to polls in the round four of the rural elections Monday.

Senior Congress leader and former state minister Manas Bhuniya accused the administration of not using properly the central paramilitary troopers in the Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, where polling was held in phase one July 11.

"The Trinamool rigged the elections. Democracy is being murdered in the state," alleged Bhuniya.

The panchayat elections in the state are scheduled to end July 25.

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