Calcutta, May 11: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has asked his government to prepare a detailed report on the election by tomorrow afternoon, before his departure for Delhi.
Bhattacharjee will attend a meeting of the inter-state council the day after. Anticipating that the Centre might seek a report from him on today’s poll, he has asked his office to keep one ready.
The apprehension that the Centre might seek a report during his stay in the capital is not without basis. It had sought a report from the state government after Union minister Tapan Sikdar was attacked by CPM cadre at Kaipul in North 24-Parganas on May 5. After the polling-day bloodbath, it would be natural for the Centre to seek another report.
Both the chief minister and the CPM are concerned because they had predicted a peaceful panchayat election this time. Bhattacharjee had assured deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani about that.
Advani, who holds charge of the home department, had praised Bhattacharjee and his government for initiating efforts to make the election a peaceful political event.
Today’s violence will put Bhattacharjee in a tight spot. Several Central intelligence agencies working in Bengal will submit their reports to the Union home ministry.
The CPM’s state leadership, however, tried a rescue act. It attempted to establish that the Opposition parties were responsible for the deaths. State CPM secretary Anil Biswas claimed that his party was the worst victim of today’s violence and the party cadre only retaliated to the attacks on them. Biswas also held the Congress most responsible for the violence across the state.
Observers said it was a bid to humour the Centre by projecting the Congress as the CPM’s main rival, not ally.