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Buddha call to voters

May 6: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said the Left had “confidence” in the Election Commission and urged voters to ensure that no malpractice took place during polling tomorrow.

Addressing a rally in South 24-Parganas’s Baruipur, the CPM politburo member said: “We have confidence in the Election Commission. Central forces are coming from Delhi. We think that if they are deployed adequately and intimidation is stopped, we will be able to post better results.

“All of you must reach the booths early. When thousands of people will come out of their houses to vote, they (trouble-makers) will be forced to step back.”

A CPM leader said former chief minister Bhattacharjee had mentioned that the Left had confidence in the commission because the panel was “trying to do as much as possible to hold fair elections in the last two phases”.

The Left had demanded re-polling in 826 booths in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 30. Special observer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh and Bengal chief electoral officer Sunil Kumar Gupta had, however, dubbed the elections free, fair and peaceful, prompting the Left to write protest letters to the commission.

The poll panel has sought a report on polling in 43 booths.

CPM’s agent woes

The CPM is finding it difficult to get polling agents in Nandigram and Khejuri as most cadres have refused fearing Trinamul attacks. Nandigram and Khejuri will vote on May 12. Trinamul denied the allegation of intimidation.

Poll violence

A 30-year-old CPM supporter was stabbed twice in her chest by three bike-borne youths in Hooghly tonight.

The CPM alleged that Trinamul activists could have taken “revenge” on Santana Mondal, who is seriously injured, as she had resisted the ruling party’s “attempts” to drive a polling agent out of a booth in Arambagh on April 30. Trinamul denied the charge.

Four Trinamul supporters were injured in a clash with CPM activists tonight in Asansol, which votes tomorrow.