SC to hear BJP plea seeking forces for Bengal panchayat polls

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A senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader protesting against the alleged atrocities by Trinamool Congress cadres during the filing of nomination papers for the upcoming panchayat polls in West Bengal was attacked by the ruling party members near the District Magistrate's office in Birbhum district.

A group of BJP leaders and activists also agitated outside the office of state Election Commission on Wednesday, demanding strict action over any violence taking place during the filing of nominations for the rural elections to be held in the first week of May. On Wednesday, April 4, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh claimed that our legal cell has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court for a fair and violence-free panchayat election in Bengal. A BJP leader was dragged out of the SDO office at Hooghly's Arambag and thrashed on the road.

"The ruling party has deployed supari killers, hired goons to scare away the candidates, whereas they are reluctant to deploy central forces to ensure smooth electioneering process and free and fair polls". The petition also says that violence in the state regarding the elections and BJP nominees are not being able to file their nominations. "A total of 1821 Opposition candidates filed nominations, but still Opposition parties are saying that they were not allowed to file nominations". Ghosh had earlier told mediapersons, "The governor is anxious about large scale violence in Bengal". "The way decisions are being taken from the Raj Bhavan it seems that it has been rendered into a BJP office more than anything else", State Minister Partho Chatterjee said before being summoned by Tripathi on Thursday. In Murshidabad, AITC and Congress workers clashed after the ruling party's workers allegedly prevented the latter's candidate from filing his nomination. "We will certainly ready to pay them back in their own coin", he said.

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The CPI (M) party bosses are, however, wary of being seen as joining hands with the BJP in combating the Trinamool Congress. The state police is sufficient to conduct the elections freely and peacefully. "It is clear from today's violence that free and fair polls can not be held in the state under such circumstances". One person died as violence marred various districts of West Bengal over submission of nomination forms ahead of the Panchayat polls in May.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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