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Bengal panchayat polls: BJP expresses apprehensions over TMC attempting to rig elections

BJP has expressed apprehensions that the TMC would attempt to rig panchayat polls on the voting day in West Bengal on July 8.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick Kolkata Published on: July 01, 2023 20:48 IST
West Bengal, BJP
Image Source : PTI BJP apprehends over TMC attempting to rig rural polls

BJP suspects rigging attempts: The BJP on Saturday (July 1) expressed apprehensions of a large-scale rigging and violence by the ruling TMC on the voting day of the panchayat polls on July 8.

BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar released the party’s manifesto and said that role of the State Election Commission (SEC), which conducts the rural polls, is not above suspicion as it was not found to be vigilant enough to curb incidents of violence in the run-up to the July 8 election.

He said that the BJP will give panchayats purged of thieves which will stop "siphoning off" of cut money in the implementation of central projects like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and other central projects.

"Wherever BJP is strong, our workers will play the role of central forces," he said as he referred to the reports that the SEC will not deploy central paramilitary forces in different polling booths where there is a possibility of violence during votes.

He claimed that the BJP will get majority in a higher number of zilla parishads, panchayats in both south and north Bengal if there was a free and fair poll.

Alliance with Congress, CPI(M)?

When asked about the understanding with other opposition parties like Congress and CPI(M), the state party president ruled out any alliance but said that ‘all of them are at the receiving end of TMC atrocities and terror’.

"We are ideologically apart from the Congress and CPI-M. No alliance has been formally announced but there can be some local-level understandings in some pockets to defeat the TMC," he said.

Elaborating on the manifesto, Majumdar said BJP will set up skill centers in different zilla parishad areas to train people so that they do not have to migrate to other states in search of jobs and set up krishi kalyan kendras in different blocks for the uplift of farmers.

"By one estimate, there are 45 lakh migrant workers in West Bengal as the state government failed to give them employment. The TMC has done nothing to improve their lot. BJP will impart skill training to them at the macro level if it wins in the panchayat polls," Majumdar said.

What TMC said?

On the other hand, TMC deputy chief whip Tapas Roy said that the BJP’s manifesto for the rural poll has little significance as the party does not have any chance of emerging victorious.

“BJP will lose in most of the panchayat and zilla parishad seats as it does not enjoy the people's support,” he claimed.

Asked about apprehensions about the non-deployment of central forces during panchayat voting, Roy said, "Why don't they move the court? They have also the governor to turn to.”

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Saturday visited the violence-hit areas of Dinhata in Cooch Behar district and met the family members of a man who was killed on June 27.

(With PTI inputs)

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