CPI-M rallies in Kolkata protesting pre-Panchayat poll violence in Bengal

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Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) Accusing West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress of unleashing massive violence on the opposition parties before the state rural elections, the CPI-M on Wednesday took out a protest rally in the heart of the city.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders and activists of Kolkata district committee walked in the rally with black flags and banners from the statue of Vladimir Lenin in central Kolkata’s Esplanade to Entally.

“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is killing democracy in West Bengal and setting fire on its pyre. Police and the state administration is playing the role of a silent spectator. There has been continuous attacks on the opposition parties. We are walking in this rally to save the democratic environment in West Bengal,” said CPI-M politburo member and MP Mohammad Selim.

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CPI-M leader Rabin Deb who also filed petition in the Calcutta High Court accusing the Trinamool of not letting their prospective candidates to file nomination papers, said the election battle has become tougher as the the ruling party is resorting to violence against the opposition even before the election has started.

“Earlier the polling booths used to be captured. But now the places of filing nominations are getting captured by the ruling party. They are capturing the BDO and SDO offices. But we will continue to fight for our rights on the streets and in the court. We will counter them in every way possible,” he added.

The State Election Commission had initially scheduled May 1, 3 and 5 as the polling dates for the three phased Panchayat polls in the state but was directed by the Calcutta High Court to announce a fresh extension on the nomination deadline and finalise a new election schedule, following the opposition parties’ allegation of massive pre-poll violence and intimidation by the Trinamool.

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–IANS

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