statesman news service
KOLKATA, 12 JUNE:  All India general secretary Mukul Roy today said that both the Congress and the CPI-M lack structural organisation at the grass -root level so they failed to field candidates in gram panchayat and panchayat samities.
But the CPI-M, BJP and the Congress has fielded candidates in zilla parishad seats, he added. He said there are 825 seats in zilla parishad of which at least there will be contest in 815 seats. “But I have a question to ask.Why were the Opposition parties able to field candidates in zilla parishad seats but failed to field candidates in gram panchayat and panchayat samiti seats?” asked Mr Roy.
He said this time the state election commission in order to  help the Opposition has made an arrangement in SDO offices so that the Oppositions could file nomination for candidates in panchayat samities and gram panchayats in SDO offices.
Mr Roy also said that for the first time in this panchayat poll  about 50 per cent seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women. “A political party needs strong organisational structure at the grass-root level to field candidates in the reserved seats in the gram panchayat and and panchayat samities seats. The Congress does not have such organisation at the grass-root level. Even the CPI-M has lost its organisational power  at the grass-root level but in order to cover up their inability to field candidates at GP and PS level, the Opposition parties are trying to create the impression that they were prevented by the ruling party to field in candidates.
Dr Manas Bhuniya, former PCC chief, alleged that in the first phase alone the ruling party won uncontested in 6,000 seats. The Trinamul Congress  has set a record in this. Even during Left Front rule the highest number of seats which remain uncontested is about 7,000 seats in 2003.
He alleged that the state government and the state election commission has violated the High Court order and was conducting filing of nomination without proper deployment of Central forces.
On the other hand, referring to what erstwhile chief ministers Jyoti Basu and Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya used to say on the issue of uncontested victory, Trinamul MP Prof Saugata Roy said: “Like them, I would also ask, if the Opposition can’t field candidates, shall we give ours on their behalf? After all, a party must have the strength to field candidates in all seats.” 
He added: “Election commission made every possible security arrangement. Even after all these, if they can’t field candidates, what shall we do?”