CPM poll hope in 7 districts

Calcutta, Jan. 31: The CPM leadership is pinning hopes on seven districts where the party is spying the chance of a clawback in the panchayat elections but is concerned about the "difficult" situation in the remaining 10 districts, sources said.

The Left had faced an electoral rout in these seven districts but leaders feel the ground situation has "improved" in the past few months because of better organisational activities.

The issue was discussed at the two-day CPM state committee meeting that began at Alimuddin Street today.

"Our condition has improved in six-seven districts. Our political activities and programmes are evoking good response," a state secretariat member said.

The sources said the districts were Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and South Dinajpur in north Bengal and Nadia, Burdwan and North and South 24-Parganas in south Bengal.

According to the discussions, the political and organisational scenario is better in the north Bengal districts.

"Our position in Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar has improved a lot. In South Dinajpur, we have been able to recover in many parts," a CPM leader said.

According to the party leadership, there is a possibility of the Left retaining the zilla parishads in at least four of the seven districts. A CPM leader said three could be from north Bengal.

"In Nadia and Burdwan, reports suggest that it may be possible for us to hold on to the zilla parishads," the leader said. "Retaining the North 24-Parganas zilla parishad and defeating Trinamul in South 24-Parganas is a tall order," the leader added.

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