Left blames Trinmool for panchayat polls in Ramadan

Kolkata, July 1 (IANS) Lashing out at the West Bengal government for implicating some of its leaders in “false criminal cases”, the Left Front Monday held the Trinamool Congress regime of Mamata Banerjee responsible for the polls being scheduled during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose, who was briefing media persons after a meeting of the combine’s partners, said the booking of number of its leaders in the cases did not bode well for democracy.

“Now we are seeing so many of our leaders being booked in false criminal cases…there is Forward Bloc’s (Cooch Behar district secretary) Udayan Guha, South Dinajpur district secretary of the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) Manabesh Chowdhury… so many more..,” Bose said.

“We have to raise this issue during our campaigning,” said the CPI-M state committee secretary.

Criticising the Trinamool Congress government for not taking the month of Ramadan into consideration earlier, Bose remarked that it falls upon the state government to see through the electoral process during the Muslim holy month.

“When the elections were knocking on the door, now they have gone to the Supreme Court. Earlier, when July 10 was fixed tentatively as a polling day, the government got it shifted to July 11 citing Rath Yatra as the reason. Then July 21 was moved to July 22 because of the (Trinamool Congress’) Shahid Diwas (Martyrs’ Day). They should have taken Ramadan into account then, but they did not,” said Bose.

According to a Supreme Court order, the panchayat polls are slated for July 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25 while Ramadan begins from the second week of July.

“They awoke after the Supreme Court verdict. If they had pointed out earlier, then this problem woudn’t have arisen,” noted Bose hours after the state government moved the apex court with the plea that the elections be re-scheduled in view of Ramadan.

Political parties, including the Congress and Left Front, have expressed their displeasure over the scheduling the polls during Ramadan and blamed the Trinamool Congress government for it.

“Now it is 100 percent their responsibility for holding the elections during Ramadan,” said Bose.

The veteran Marxist leader said had the government agreed to the May 10 directive of the Calcutta High Court, the polls would have ended by now.

Calcutta High Court Justice Biswanath Sommader had May 10 ordered a three-phase panchayat polls with deployment of central armed police personnel. However, the state government termed the order “impractical, impossible to implement and unacceptable” and moved a division bench.

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