The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CM terror whip on party

Calcutta, April 12: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today virtually accepted the Opposition parties’ allegations — that CPM cadre were preventing their candidates from filing nominations for the panchayat polls — by issuing a public statement urging party workers to desist from making such attempts.

“I have received a number of complaints from Opposition parties that their candidates are being prevented from submitting their nominations for the polls. We can never support this kind of activity and urge Left Front workers not to allow this kind of situation to prevail. I have also alerted the police administration to take necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections,” said the statement.

The “appeal” to CPM cadre, issued with only a day left for filing nominations, comes after parties such as the Trinamul Congress, the Congress and the BJP voiced a number of complaints against the Marxists’ “terror tactics”. The parties alleged that CPM cadre have so far prevented over 20,000 of their candidates from submitting nomination papers in Midnapore, Hooghly, Burdwan, North and South 24-Parganas.

The BJP and the Trinamul had yesterday boycotted an all-party meeting convened by state election commissioner Ajay Sinha, accusing him of “dancing to the CPM’s tune”.

The chief minister’s statement “has only vindicated what we have been saying for the past few days”, said Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee. “However, it is too late now. Had he made the appeal earlier, we could have appreciated the gesture,” she added.

5 hurt in poll clash

Five persons, including a candidate for the panchayat elections, were today injured in a clash between the CPM and a group of Trinamul Congress and BJP supporters at Jangipara in Hooghly. Police have arrested a person in connection with the incident.

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