statesman news service
Kolkata, 7 July
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said the panchayat poll in the state wouldn’t have been held had the matter not been taken to the Supreme Court and alleged that even after the apex court’s verdict, the Trinamul Congress was utilising the police forces to influence the poll results in its favour.
On the other hand, state transport minister Madan Mitra threatened at Danton in West Midnapore that after the rural poll, the State Election Commission (SEC) would have to “wear bangles and hide behind a veil” and “those who counsel the commission now will have to leave the country if they continue counseling it after 30 July (the counting of poll is scheduled on 29 July)”.
Only yesterday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had vowed at an election campaign in South 24-Parganas to take “revenge democratically” against the “whims and fancies” of the state poll panel.
The SEC today decided to collect CDs of the speeches of both the chief minister and the transport minister and see whether legal action can be initiated against them.
Senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan also threatened to move court if the chief minister speaks in such “unparliamentary language” against the SEC.
Speaking at an election campaign at Bagnan, Howrah, Mr Bhattacharjee complained Trinamul supporters were hand in hand with police to ensure that candidates from other political parties withdraw from the contest.
He said the ruling party had used funds for 100-day work to raise a ‘bike bahini’ (motorbike-borne activists) in the rural areas.
“There are 500 supervisors for 500 people working under the project. Actually, the money for the supervisors was used to meet the expenses of the activists,” he said, adding that the CPI-M was keeping a watch on the situation and would discuss what measure should be taken in order to tackle it.
He said the Left Front government had never held a panchayat poll during the month of Ramzan.
“The Left Front government always gave priority to the election as it is the backbone of development in rural areas. We committed mistakes and we have got a result for that in the 2011 Assembly Election. I promise we will never commit similar mistakes ever again,” he said.
Mr Mitra&’s comments about the SEC having to wear bangles have come in for sharp criticism from rival political parties.
Mr Dipak Sarkar, a CPI-M district secretary said : “Such comments indicate that the Trinamul Congress is scared of the role played by the SEC.
“The reprehensible remarks are derogatory and they violate the model code of electoral conduct.”