Left born not just to win elections but to keep fighting: Surjya Kanta Mishra
Kolkata, May 14 (IBNS): Slamming the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government for allegedly resorting to violence in the three-tier panchayat polls, which were held on Monday, CPI-M secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said the Left's inception is not just to win elections but to continue the fight.
Mishra said this while he, along with other CPI-M leaders, were protesting outside the State Election Commission (SEC), after it denied an entry to the Left party.
As the state witnessed widespread violence throughout the day, the CPI-M tried to meet the State Election Commissioner.
After being denied a permission to meet the State Election Commissioner, Mishra verbally attacked the SEC, which had taken a decision to conduct the panchayat poll in a single phase, that too without the central police.
Hinting at an understanding between the SEC and the state government, Mishra said: "We know who controls you (State Election Commissioner). I know your obligations."
Taking a dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the CPI-M veteran said: "The CM is so scared that she even does not allow the Commissioner to meet us. She thinks the Commissioner will act according to us."
Criticising the ruling party for allegedly deploying goons to disturb the poll process, Mishra's target was not only the Commissioner but also the Chief Minister.
Hitting out at Banerjee, Mishra said: "Have you ever seen Chief Ministers, Jyoti Basu or Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to threaten police officers but our present CM (Mamata Banerjee) did that once."
At least 18 people have died in the violence-marred West Bengal panchayat (rural) polls, which were conducted on Monday.
The deceased workers and supporters are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the CPI-M and the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
A CPI-M worker and his wife were charred to death after their house was set on fire in South 24 Parganas, reports said.
In North 24 Parganas, a CPI-M worker was killed during clashes while two others received injuries.
A Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporter and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker died in South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad respectively.
While the voters' turnout was 41.51 percent till 1 pm, widespread violence, including bombing and efforts of booth capturing by political goons, were reported across the state since morning.
In Cooch Behar district, 20 people were injured in a low-intensity blast at a polling booth.
Violence was reported from Howrah and already clash-hit Bhangar in South 24 Parganas as well. Earlier on Friday, a supporter of an independent candidate was shot dead in Bhangar area.
There were reports of violence from several other districts like Jalpaiguri, Malda, Nadia and West Midnapore where at Bikalchak of Keshpur a teenaged girl was hit by an arrow.
An independent candidate supporter was shot dead in Murshidabad's Nawda. He has been identified as Shahi Shekh, according to a TV report.
However, in many places the police acted swiftly and brought the situation under control, reports said.