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Left calls for rural polls in 3 phases

Calcutta, Jan. 21: The Left Front today demanded that the panchayat polls be held in at least three phases to ensure adequate security arrangements.

The Left move follows alleged threats by Trinamul ministers and MPs that they won’t allow the Opposition to file nominations in many areas, sources in the combine said.

After a meeting of the Left Front at Alimuddin Street this afternoon, CPM state secretary Biman Bose said: “We are hearing about reports that the Trinamul government wants to hold the panchayat elections in one day. The election should be held in at least three phases. That’s because there’s a need to ensure adequate security.”

Bose alleged that some Trinamul ministers and MPs were threatening and intimidating Left workers. “For free and fair elections, multiple phases are required,” he said.

Bypoll candidates

The Left Front today announced its candidates for the February 23 bypolls in three seats.

The CPM, Forward Bloc and the RSP will be contesting the Englishbazar (Malda), Nalhati (Birbhum) and Rejinagar (Murshidabad) Assembly seats, respectively. The CPM has fielded first-timer Kaushik Mishra for Englishbazar. The Bloc’s Dipak Chatterjee and the RSP’s Sirajul Islam Mondal will contest from Nalhati and Rejinagar, respectively.