75-yr-old CPIM leader attacked in Bengal ahead of panchayat polls

On a day when the Congress approached Calcutta High Court against West Bengal Government's alleged attempt to prevent free and fair conduct of Panchayat polls in the State, its senior leader and Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared in Supreme Court to defend the State Government against a similar petition by the BJP. A bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal and A.M. Sapre said, "We are reserving verdict for 9 April".

The West Bengal unit of the BJP further demanded availability of nomination papers online, an extension of the last date of filing these papers and deployment of paramilitary forces in the state.

The panchayat elections have been notified to be held on May 1, 3 and 5.

Opposition parties on Friday accused ruling Trinamool Congress of sponsoring widespread violence in the state to prevent their candidates from filing nominations for local body elections in the state-an issue that appears to have put a spanner in Banerjee's anti-BJP front efforts.

State BJP secretary Shyamapada Mondal was attacked allegedly by TMC supporters in Bankura in the afternoon, when he and his party workers were on their way to meet the district magistrate to submit a memorandum on the violence during filing of nominations for the panchayat polls. The video shows the attackers smashing the rear windshield of the vehicle. The votes will be counted on May 08.

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A violent clash broke out between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and security personnel in West Bengal on Friday.

The senior lawyer tried to justify why he did not approach the high court, saying the work was paralysed there as lawyers were on strike from February 19 and advocates going to the court were being manhandled.

Opposition parties in the state had asked the state election commission to deploy central forces for polling, but the administration declined to bring in forces from outside the state.

"There is a triple whammy in BJPs petition". He said it was a settled law that once the poll process has started, it cannot be tinkered with, and if they have any grievances they can file election petitions. It must be noted that the last day of nomination is April 9. Several incidents of political clashes between the workers of the BJP and the TMC have been reported from various areas of the state in the last few days over filing of nominations for the coming rural polls.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

  • Megan Austin