Forward Bloc national secretary G Devarajan on Tuesday said West Bengal chief minister and Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has no right to speak about democratic unity at national level as she has miserably failed to ensure democratic rights during panchayat elections in her state.

Devarajan said the chief minister’s call for ‘Opposition-free Panchayat’ is a direct call for attack on the Opposition and against all existing democratic practices.

The Trinamul Congress leaders have taken this “undemocratic and uncivilised” call of the chief minister seriously, he added.

Devarajan said the State Election Commission (SEC) has become a puppet of the ruling party. The unprecedented way of announcing the election schedule and fixing a single deadline for filing nominations for all three phases of elections, and the utter failure to ensure free and fair filing of nominations, shows that the SEC is dancing to the tune of the ruling party, he said.
Devarajan said the role of police is also highly deplorable.

“Incidents of brutal attacks are taking place in broad daylight and in front of the police personnel. They act as mere spectators, rather as facilitators, for the goons of the ruling party”, he said.

“All this justifies the apprehension of the Opposition that the elections will not be free and fair under the surveillance of the state police”, Devarajan added.

The Forward Bloc leader said the undemocratic manner in which the panchayat elections are being conducted in West Bengal will be conveyed to all national leaders whom Mamata Banerjee had met recently for Opposition unity.