Kolkata, April 5 (IANS) A former CPI-M MP was injured as fresh clashes were reported between West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition parties across districts on Thursday during filing of nominations for next month’s Panchayat (rural body) polls.
Former Lok Sabha member Ram Chandra Dome was attacked allegedly by Trinamool activists when he was leading a procession of party candidates on the way to filing nominations in Nalhati of Birbhum district.
However, the Trinamoool denied the allegations and accused the Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) of efforts to disturb peace by bringing out rallies where participants carried bows and arrows.
In the footage broadcast by television channels, some of the participants in the procession led by Dome were seen carrying bows and arrows as they marched to the local administrative office to file their nominations.
In a tweet, CPI-M’s State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said: “Central committee member of our party and former MP Ramchandra Dome was brutally attacked by TMC hoodlums. Left activists have resisted the attack and have entered the office to submit nomination in Nalhati, Birbhum.
“It is no more capturing polling booths, WB Panchayat election starts with capturing the BDOs & SDOs’ offices. Statewide attack on opposition not to allow filing nomination.”
He called upon the people to “protest and resist” everywhere.
Taking a swipe at Trinamool Birbhum district’s President Anubrata Mondal, Dome – his head bandaged – said: “Trinamool imported the politics with arms and ammunition at Nalhati and they have planned to expand the Anubrata-model here at Nalhati… The attack was organised by the Trinamool backed hooligans.”
Asked about the processionists carrying bows and arrows, Dome said: “It is the tradition of adivasis (tribals) here.”
State Minister and Trinamool’s Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said: “In various districts, some people carrying arms and CPI-M flags were trying to destabilise peace.”
Additional Director General (Law and Order) of state police Anuj Sharma said: “There was no need to carry bow and arrows while filing nominations. And carrying arms in such political processions is not part of any tradition. We are looking into what kind of legal action can be taken regarding this incident.”
Elsewhere, there were reports of a clash between Trinamool and Congress workers at Hariharpara of Murshidabad district.
The BJP state unit has already approached the Supreme Court seeking its intervention for protection of its candidates so that they can file their nomination papers for the three-phase polls on May 1, 3 and 5.
On the other hand, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury has moved the Calcutta High Court seeking deployment of central forces for the polls.