The Trinamool Congress has “conspired” to ensure that the rural polls are not held in West Bengal by entering into a confrontation with the State Election that resulted in the latter moving court on the issue, alleged the Opposition parties here on Monday.
“For a while, there were indications that the rural elections will not be held on time. The State government has played a distinctive role in plotting this conspiracy by unnecessarily creating a dispute with the State Election Commission,” chairman of the State Left Front Committee Biman Bose told journalists.
The Left Front “will take to the streets” demanding that the rural polls are held on time, he said. Mr. Bose also led a Left Front delegation that met West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan in the evening, urging him to play a “conciliatory role.”
“We asked him to use his good offices so that the differences between the State Election Commission and the State government can be resolved so that the Panchayat elections are held on time,” Mr. Bose said.
Mr. Bose also expressed fears that if the elections are not held within six months of the expiry of the terms of the present rural bodies, West Bengal may lose out on Central funds for schemes that are implemented through the panchayats.
Pradip Bhattacharya, president of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, alleged that the Trinamool Congress is “trying to create a Constitutional crisis” in the State to fulfil a “political agenda.”
If the panchayat polls are held, the Trinamool Congress will not be satisfied because the results of these elections will go against the ruling party, he said.
“They are trying to hatch a conspiracy either to delay or to make sure that the elections are not held,” Mr. Bhattacharya said. He added that the Congress has apprehensions that even if the polls are held, the Trinamool Congress will not allow free and fair elections.
Rahul Sinha, president of the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party also alleged that the Trinamool Congress “has purposely ensured that the matter is caught up in legal wrangles” because the party is not ready to face the electorate in the polls.
Mr. Bhattacharya said he had appealed to the State Election Commission to provide the party with a copy of the petition filed before the Calcutta High Court as political parties are important stakeholders in the election process.