Accusing its ally Trinamool Congress of “threatening and intimidating” its candidates for the upcoming polls to six civic bodies in different parts of West Bengal, the State Congress leadership has expressed apprehension of violence on the day of the elections to both the election authorities as well as the State administration.
State Congress Committee president Pradip Bhattacharya said here on Wednesday that he feared that incidents like booth capturing, abduction of party candidates and preventing of people to cast their vote could occur if the State administration does not take proper steps to ensure peaceful elections.
“We had thought that with paribortan (change) the situation in the State will change, particularly when it comes to the conduct of elections. Our party has contributed to the paribortan and now our candidates are not allowed to contest elections,” Mr Bhattacharya said.
Stating that he had never imagined that Congress candidates will face such attacks in municipal polls, he claimed that the “administration is working under political pressure”.
Mr Bhattacharya said that he has met State Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and voiced his concern over instances of violence on the party candidates.
He has also written to State Election Commissioner Meera Pandey urging her to take proper steps for peaceful conduct of the elections.
“The Election Commission should come up with a notice through different media encouraging the electorates to vote without fear and also stating that the administration is alert to protect them and their property. Police patrolling should immediately start in all municipal areas,” the letter said.
In the letter Mr Bhattacharya said while there is tension in some municipalities before the election candidates in certain others are “panic-stricken”.
Six civic bodies where the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, both partners in the ruling coalition in the State, are pitted against each other will go to the polls on June 3.