The Opposition BJP and Left Front on Monday hailed the High Court Division Bench ruling to refer the panchayat poll case to Single Bench and said that it signified the triumph of democracy over autocratic rule of the Trinamul Congress (TMC).

BJP state panchayat election convenor Mukul Roy said that the High Court Division Bench’s ruling is the victory of the people.

He criticised chief minister Mamata Banerjee for the failure of the administration to take action against the large number of attacks on the Opposition parties’ candidates by alleged TMC-backed goons.

“Chief minister Mamata Banerjee murdered democracy with the help of police. Left Front had been ousted for its misrule for the past 34 years and the TMC will face the same consequence in the next poll. We have full faith in the HC ruling,” he said.

Mr Roy also said Miss Banerjee attempted to make the State Election Commission (SEC) a puppet. “People of the state are ashamed of her bid to oust the Opposition. This happens only in West Bengal and in no other state,” he said. CPI-M leader Rabin Deb said that the state government is totally responsible for having created a horrible situation in the name of the panchayat elections.

“People are happy with the ruling of the HC Division Bench. This kind of violence is taking place only in West Bengal. No other state witnessed such kind of terror by the ruling party,” he said.

Meanwhile, around 17 Left Front organisations on Monday organised demonstrations in the city in protest against the violence during the filing of nominations for the upcoming panchayat polls in the state. CPI-M legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty said that the state government is trying to turn the panchayat polls into a farce.

“Never before the Opposition parties in the state have faced such a situation where they were not allowed to file nominations by the ruling party,” Mr Chakraborty said.

He said that TMC has no confidence in their development work in the past seven years. “So the TMC is afraid of the opposition candidates,” he said. The Left Front, led by the CPI-M, organised the protest rally at around 2.30pm from Birla Planetarium in Maidan area of the city to Esplanade.

Mr Chakraborty also said that democracy is under threat and all efforts are being made to undermine the SEC, which has turned into a back office of the TMC. “The TMC is afraid of the Left Front, that is why they have not allowed our candidates to file nominations,” Mr Chakraborty said.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose said that all LF backed organisation will continue their fight against the anarchy of the TMC reign and the LF parties also demand free and fair panchayat polls.

Violence was reported from parts of the state after the SEC issued notification for the panchayat polls.