Left, Mamata trade charges on panchayat polls

Kolkata, June 23 (IANS) A day ahead of the crucial hearing before the Calcutta High Court regarding the panchayat polls, West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition Left Front Sunday traded accused each other of disrupting the upcoming elections.

Hours after her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee claimed that the fate of rural polls depended on "Trinamool's whims", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in turn accused the Communist Party Of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front of trying to stall the July 2, 6, 9 elections.

"They only want to stall the rural polls. They are praying for floods and rains so that the rural polls are not held at all," said Banerjee campaigning for her party in North 24-Parganas district's Minakhan.

"We want the gram panchayats to be elected, so that people get their right of local government," she said.

Earlier in the day, Bhattacharjee of the CPI-M said in Burdwan: "There never has been so much uncertainty over the panchayat polls. From taking on the State Election Commission (SEC) to unleashing terror on the opposition, the Trinamool is trying all measures to ensure the polls do not happen."

Accusing all the major opposition parties of colluding against the Trinamool, Banerjee said her party is contesting the rural polls alone on its own strength and will continue to do so in future.

"The CPI-M, Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Maoists have tied up against the Trinamool Congress. Their alliance symbolises destruction whereas we have the support of people," she said.

A division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi Monday will hear an application by the SEC seeking adequate security measures for the polls.

The union home ministry also is slated to inform the court about its stand on the Banerjee government's request for supply of central armed police forces for the polls.


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