Trinamool alleges poll panel-opposition collusion

Kolkata, June 1 (IANS) Faced with allegations by opposition parties that their candidates were being attacked during filing nominations for the rural body (panchayat) polls in West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress Saturday accused the State Election Commission of backing the opposition in "misguiding" the people.

Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy accused State Election Commissioner Mira Pande of being "partisan" towards some political parties and claimed that his party's supporters were the ones at the receiving end of "planned attacks" by the opposition.

"It is my strong conviction that the SEC is backing the opposition parties which are misguiding the people by making baseless allegations against us. The SEC is partisan to some parties," Roy told reporters here.

"The actions of the State Election Commissioner are aimed at repaying certain political parties and is not conducive to democracy," he said, referring to the erstwhile Left Front government extending her term in office.

"We have seen how her term was extended in a politically motivated manner," he said.

Roy's criticism of the SEC comes in the wake of the panel expressing its dissatisfaction over the security deployment for the polls and consulting lawyers on the issue.

The state government and the SEC have been at loggerheads over who would control the police and administration now that the poll process had started.

While the commission issued a notification declaring that all administrative and police officials connected with the polling process were now under its control, the state government had disputed it.

Claiming that the nomination process was on "peacefully", Roy challenged the opposition to cite specific cases where their candidates had been prevented from filing their papers and claimed every election since the Trinamool came to power in 2011 had been "free and fair".