The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NDA probe lashes Left on civic polls

New Delhi, July 25: An NDA fact-finding team investigating the panchayat elections in Bengal has accused the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government of letting loose a reign of terror on the Opposition and allowing CPM cadres to threaten and browbeat it.

Deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani, who was given a copy of the report, has advised the team to seek an appointment with the election commissioner and present him with the findings.

The team — led by the BJP’s Kirit Somaiya, Trinamul Congress’ Nitish Sengupta, Samata Party’s Beatrix D’Souza and the Shiv Sena’s Chandrakant Khaire — arrived in North Block with defence minister George Fernandes, the NDA convener.

“The deputy Prime Minister has asked us to seek an appointment with the election commission and appraise and place the report before the EC,” Somaiya said.

The NDA coordination committee will study the report and come up with suggestions on what to do next, he added.

“Our aim is to ensure that this is not repeated in the parliamentary elections,” Somaiya said. “The police and the bureaucracy are hand in glove with the ruling party.”

With general elections scheduled for next year, the BJP leaders are worried about the alleged large-scale rigging in Bengal.

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