statesman news service
Kolkata, 1 October
The differences that had risen within the CPI-M over the withdrawal of candidates in the recently concluded municipal elections were sought to be buried today.
The party candidates were withdrawn along with other front nominees in the face of the terror unleashed by criminals enjoying Trinamul Congress patronage, senior party leader Rabin Deb said today, voicing the leadership’s decision to endorse the withdrawal from the municipal electoral fray.
Coming a week after the declaration of the municipal poll results, Mr Deb’s contention may appear to be belated. But it actually seeks to end the intra-party debate that the leadership ought not to have asked the activists in Burdwan and Chakda to leave the field, leading to a landslide victory for Trinamul .
“It does not justify the present state of affairs” Mr Deb replied when asked whether the Congress and later Trinamul candidates polled very few votes in previous elections owing to terror tactics of the front workers.
"The circumstances in Burdwan including the killing of some of our leaders like Pradip Ta, Gopal Gayen and Dilip Sarkar led to the build-up of an atmosphere of fear which culminated in the terror tactics unleashed on municipal election day,} he said.
First the front candidates were prevented from campaigning and later votes were “looted” on the polling day, Mr Deb said.
Despite the state election chairperson being gheraoed, front candidates not being allowed to be fielded in many seats and booths being captured on the polling day, there was no significant fall in the percentage of the votes secured by the front nominees, Mr Deb pointed out.
The visit of chief minister Mamata Banerjee to Andal in Burdwan before the municipal polls was also a dereliction of the election procedure, Mr Deb said. "Our election agents were driven out and they could not lodge a complaint which would have enabled us to demand a repoll," he added.