Hooch tragedy is now poll issue in West Bengal

May 6th, 2009 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, May 6 (IANS) With the official toll reaching 20 in West Bengal’s hooch tragedy, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the main opposition Trinamool Congress are trying to gain poll mileage by blaming each other for the incident.
The deaths occurred in East Midnapore district’s Tamluk where people fell ill after consuming poisonous country-made liquor near Ramtarak Market of Mecheda in the Matangini block.

With the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency slated to go to the hustings Thursday, the CPI-M lost little time in firing a salvo at the Trinamool.

“The state administration should probe the matter and find out who all are involved. The perpetrators should be punished,” state’s ruling Left Front (LF) chairman Biman Bose said.

Taking the lead in slamming the Trinamool Congress, the state CPI-M’s daily mouthpiece Ganashakti has termed the tragedy “pre-planned”, and alleged that the perpetrators were local Trinamool Congress activists - three of whom have been arrested by the police.

“Trinamool Congress leaders are playing with the innocent lives of common people in the district,” said district CPI-M secreary Kanu Sahu.

The East Midnapore CPI-M also Tuesday called for a one-hour shutdown in the district, condemning the incident.

Not to be left behind, the Trinamool supporters vandalised a district excise department office and locked the gate.

The Trinamool activists, including a large number of women, surrounded the sitting CPI-M MP Laxman Seth, who is seeking re-election, when he went to see the hooch victims in the Tamluk hospital.

Meanwhile, the state government has set up a one-man committee to investigate the incident.

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