Violence over filing nominations for rural elections continues in Bengal

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Kolkata, April 6 (IANS) Senior CPI-M leader and nine-time Lok Sabha member Basudeb Acharia was allegedly injured as sporadic violence over filing nominations for next month’s Panchayat polls in West Bengal continued on Friday even as opposition parties demonstrated across the state, accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of unleashing attacks.

Acharia, an MP from 1980-2014, was hospitalised when he was allegedly attacked by Trinamool backed miscreants at Kashipur of Purulia district, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said.

“Acharia was attacked and hit on the head by Trinamool goons while going to file his nomination today. He has been hospitalised. We condemn the attack on one of country’s most respected parliamentarians,” CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty told IANS.

He also claimed that their activists and candidates were being attacked everywhere by miscreants affiliated to the Trinamool, with the local administration and the State Election Commission remaining “silent spectators”.

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Senior LF leaders including CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Misra held a sit-in outsdie the State Election Commission office, accusing it of being “inactive” in protecting democracy.

“We are not here to attack your office or scare you. But we want to tell you that the Indian Constitution has given you the rights and powers that is stronger than the threats of the state’s ruling party. But still you are scared of their actions,” Misra said during the protest demonstration.

“If you lack confidence to act against them, we are here to give you confidence. But you must act to protect democracy,” he said.

Clashes broke out between Trinamool and Bharatiya Janata Party activists in parts of East Midnapore and Bankura districts.

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In Birbhum’s Nalhati, BJP workers allegedly attacked police and hurled crude bombs injuring one police personnel. Police fired tear gas shells and baton charged the mob to control the situation, police said.

Refuting the claims of opposition parties, state Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee claimed his party is not involved in any form of violence and said the state police force would be enough to conduct the rural elections, to be held in the first week of May.

“There are no attacks on the opposition. It is their ploy to create controversies. If they are under attack how is it that more opposition candidates have submitted their nominations than Trinamool Congress aspirants for the Zilla Parishad seats? Their allegations are baseless.

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“I think the state police force is enough for conducting the elections. There is no need for the central force. Bringing central force would be an unnecessary expense to the state government, which would in turn impact the common people,” he said.

–IANS

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