The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM wields graft axe

Calcutta, Feb. 21: Alarmed at instances of involvement of its panchayat officials in criminal cases across the state, the CPM leadership has decided not to offer tickets to corrupt functionaries in the panchayat polls in May.

The decision to weed out the corrupt members follows arrests of the party’s panchayat leaders for allegedly looting and molesting passengers of two buses in Nadia returning from wedding receptions.

The party has expelled those allegedly involved in the crime. At the same time, it has decided to be cautious in selecting nominees for the three-tier rural polls.

In a document distributed among the party’s district units and important functionaries, the party has set guidelines for selecting the candidates. “We have to give up tendencies of nepotism, seen among a section of the leaders while selecting women candidates. You must be careful about selecting your wives and daughters for the posts reserved for women. You have to consider those women while selecting candidates who are involved in either women’s or other democratic movements. In no case, you should try to select your wives and daughters who don’t have any experience in such movements,” the document says.

Strictures have also been issued over selecting teachers for the panchayat polls. “Don’t select teachers until and unless such a selection is unavoidable. Once a teacher is selected for the rural polls, he or she will have to take leave from the school he or she is attached with and this will hamper the interests of education,” the party document said.

The document also suggested that tickets should not be given to CPM functionaries who have lost confidence of the people or were facing corruption charges.

Public image, efficiency, mass base and popularity were identified as the yardsticks for selecting a candidate.

Dhantola arrests

Two more persons were arrested in Krishnagar in connection with the looting and molestation of passengers of two buses returning from wedding receptions on February 5.

Ali Hee and Naser Ali were said to be part of the gang of dacoits. Nadia police today prevented the RSP from holding a rally condemning the incident in Dhantola.

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