IN an unprecedented verdict, the Calcutta High Court directed the State Election Commission to accept the nomination of panchayat candidates sent via email within the extended April 23 deadline. This verdict has come as a response to CPI(M)’s appeal in the court. CPI(M) has been forced to make such an appeal after hundreds of Left candidates were denied access to BDO, SDO office by TMC armed gangs. SEC was earlier asked by the court to extend the time of nomination for one day. But even on that day, April 23, TMC miscreants unleashed vicious attack to prevent the opposition from filing nominations. In quick response, CPI(M) and Left Front candidates from many districts sent their nominations through e-mails. SEC refused to recognise those applications. A division bench of the Calcutta High Court directed the State Election Commission to accept the nomination of all the candidates nominated by the appellant who have duly filed their nomination and submitted the same electronically to the panchayat returning officers or the State Election Commission within 3 pm on April 23. CPI(M) in its appeal had submitted about 800 such complaints.
This verdict in itself has again proved that the panchayat elections are being conducted in a vicious atmosphere. The SEC, under pressure from the state government has refused to accept this verdict and move forward. Instead, they have submitted an appeal in the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order.
On the other hand, the TMC has continued to terrorise Left candidates. After the High Court’s verdict, the ruling party gangs have targeted those who have submitted their nomination papers through e-mail. They are being threatened, physically tortured, kidnapped and in many cases are being forced to sign that they ‘would not contest’.
The fights to restore democracy, to fight elections are going on at all levels – legal, as well as in the streets. 17 Left and allied parties organised a two-day sit-in demonstration in Kolkata to protest against atrocities in the villages. The sit-in was attended throughout by CPI(M) and Left leaders including Biman Basu, Surjya Kanta Mishra. A huge rally marched in central Kolkata, illuminated by burning torches, after the end of sit-in.
CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, in a press conference, alleged that the ruling party, state government and SEC are out to defy the court verdicts. ‘Though the High Court has given a historic verdict, the state government is trying to jeopardise it. They have approached the apex court with this aim’, said Mishra. ‘It would have been better if the High Court allowed this process for others too’, he said.
On Bengal Panchayat Polls
Below we publish the statement of the CPI(M) West Bengal state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra issued at a press conference in Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan, Kolkata on May 9.
INTENTIONAL and motivated false, baseless propaganda is being spread that the Left Parties in West Bengal are fighting against the ruling Trinamool by making an electoral understanding with the BJP. Both the TMC and the BJP are adding fuel to this propaganda. Since 2014, they are trying for political polarisation based on communal polarisation. Now they are initiating false campaign against the Left parties to hide their misdeeds.
Since last four years, our slogan in West Bengal has been: oust BJP, save the country and oust TMC, save Bengal. BJP is the main threat in the country and they are operating under the direction of RSS. The units of RSS have increased by 11 times since the TMC has come to power in Bengal. They schematically want to project BJP as the main opposition in Bengal. The falsehood is being ropagated against us to suppress this. The stories of fighting out BJP with the help of TMC or opposing TMC with assistance of BJP are being spread to mislead people. We appeal to the people not to be trapped.
Our Party has publicly declared that if any Party member maintains any contact with the BJP or the enemy camp he or she will be summarily expelled according to the Party constitution. Action has already been taken against two such members. We are keeping close vigil and no compromise will be made on this regard. If any non-Party member, supported by Party, is found to maintain any political relation with BJP or enemy camp then the Party will immediately dissociate itself from that candidate even if he/she wins the election.
TMC and BJP have always maintained a smooth match-fixing among themselves.Former AITC general secretary Mukul Roy has been the recent example who is now in the BJP camp. Locket Chatterjee who is now a BJP leader was also associated with the TMC. But there is not even one such example that can be shown against any Left Leader. One can become their natural ally after expulsion from Party but we're keeping strict vigil and strict action will be taken if any Party member is found to be involved in any such contact with the enemy camps.
In the Panchayat elections where there are no candidates for Left Front or Left Front allies, our appeal to the people has been to support the candidates who are politically fighting against the TMC and the BJP.
The picture of Rama Biswas taking part in a procession in Nadia district has been completely misinterpreted. It is not a procession of election campaign. Villagers were organising a protest against the attack of the ruling party in a village. Being the local MLA, Rama Biswas participated in the procession. It has nothing to do with any election campaign or any kind of electoral understanding.