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Congress, BJP accuse CPI(M) of unleashing violence

KOLKATA: Even as the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal have accused the Communist Party of India (Marxist) of unleashing violence in the run-up to the May panchayat elections, the CPI(M) is trying to ensure unity among Left Front constituents in poll preparations.

“We want Left unity at all levels. There are some problems in certain areas and discussions are on to resolve them,” veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu said here on Friday.

He was referring to differences among some Left Front partners over nominations.

In the Congress camp, senior leaders including PCC president and Union Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, participated in a demonstration here in protest against atrocities being committed allegedly by CPI(M) workers on Congress supporters and leaders.The party, which observed the day as “Democratic Rights Protection Demand Day,” ridiculed the State Election Commission’s talk of ensuring a free poll. “How can elections be free in the face of violence and intimidation being perpetrated by the CPI(M),” asked Mr. Dasmunsi.

Ensure code of conduct

“It is imperative for the Commission to ensure that the code of conduct is observed and strict action taken against those violating it.”

Referring to reports of clashes, allegedly being instigated by CPI(M) activists in the run-up to the election in the Nandigram area, Mr. Dasmunsi said Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should take immediate steps to defuse the tension there.

The BJP accused the CPI(M) of unleashing “a reign of terror” with intent to keep opposition parties away from the three-phase contest, on May 11, 14 and 18. The party has informed the State Election Commissioner of the situation.