The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trinamul, BJP pull out of poll in rout zone

Chakda (Nadia), June 15: The Trinamul Congress and the BJP today withdrew candidates for the municipal election here in protest against the “terror unleashed by CPM cadre” in the town.

The Congress, which had first decided to join forces with the twin parties in pulling out, took a U-turn. At the end of the day, the party said it would contest the poll.

The three Opposition parties had forged a grand alliance here by not fielding candidates against each other in any of the 20 seats. Trinamul had fielded 11 candidates, the BJP 2 and the Congress had its nominees in rest of the seven seats.

At a joint press conference, Trinamul and BJP leaders announced that they would stay away from the poll to “register our protest against the manner in which the CPM resorted to unfair means in the just-concluded byelection to the Nabadwip Lok Sabha seat”.

Trinamul’s Sukumar Roy alleged that the local Congress leaders were determined to withdraw their candidates till last evening but they backtracked. “This proves that the Congress is really the CPM’s B-team. Their local leaders were with us even when we met them last evening. But the state leaders, who have a secret understanding with the Alimuddin Street bosses, did not approve of this,” Roy said.

Congress leader and party MLA Shankar Singh, however, refuted the allegation. “In fact, Trinamul helps the CPM win elections,” he said.

In the Nabadwip byelection, the CPM had taken a lead of 64,000 votes in the Chakda Assembly segment. The CPM candidate won the Parliamentary seat by a margin of 98,000 votes.

Trinamul leaders here alleged that the CPM cadre had captured 49 booths with help from police and the local administration during the bypoll. “This time, too, the cadre were intimidating our supporters. It is useless to fight an election that we consider a mockery of democracy,” said one of them.

The CPM’s zonal secretary, Amal Bhowmick, refuted the charges. “Trinamul and the BJP have realised their plight and have withdrawn their candidates. We have nothing to do with their decision,” he said.

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