The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani balm on Mamata

New Delhi, April 25: Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani has asked Union home secretary N. Gopalswami to raise with the Bengal chief secretary the issue of large-scale rejection of nomination papers filed by Trinamul Congress candidates for the panchayat elections.

Advani’s directive follows Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with him on Wednesday with a list of complaints against the CPM-led government.

Mamata had alleged that the CPM was trying to ensure that nomination papers filed by her party’s candidates were rejected on one pretext or the other. This, according to Trinamul, is in keeping with the CPM’s penchant of “scientific rigging”.

After Trinamul was routed in the last Assembly elections, Mamata’s party had alleged that the CPM has “perfected the art of scientific rigging”.

Advani listened to Trinamul’s complaints and accepted the memorandum from Mamata. However, he did not make any other move on the issue.

Trinamul had raised the issue in Parliament, asking for Central intervention under Article 355 to stop the CPM from “rigging” the panchayat elections.

However, Advani did not plead Mamata’s case with the chief minister, who has co-operated with the Centre on the war against terrorism.

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