Kolkata, May 17 (IANS) Criticising the West Bengal Election Commission for “failing to conduct free and fair” panchayat elections, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Wednesday said democracy has been murdered in the state.
“What we had seen on the day of panchayat polls was unprecedented. Was this the way rural polls were being conducted in the state? State Election Commission failed to conduct free and fair polls. Democracy has been brutally murdered in the state,” he said.
Chatterjee said that many people were killed during the campaign and also on polling day and the administration was busy either hiding the number of casualties or blaming others.
Sporadic violence and clashes between opposing political groups marred the West Bengal panchayat polls on Monday, and after 12 persons were killed in widespread violence during the election, post poll clashes continue to rock parts of the state.
“The fight should be between ideologies not between political activists. This is shameful to witness such things happening in Bengal where people are not allowed to exercise their democratic right,” said former CPI(M) leader and MP.
Ruling Trinamool Congress described his allegation as baseless.