West Bengal CPI-M blames ‘malicious campaign’ for defeat

May 21st, 2008 - 10:56 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, May 21 (IANS) With its hold slipping in four West Bengal districts, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Wednesday blamed its defeat in the elections to the state’s local self-government bodies on a “malicious campaign” against it launched by opposition parties. “Our defeat in four West Bengal districts is due to the malicious campaign launched by the opposition and vested interests,” said senior CPI-M leader and party spokesperson Shyamal Chakraborty.

“I think, in East Midnapore district, and particularly Nandigram, we failed to convince the people about the need for industrialisation and our government’s good intentions. We could not reach out to the masses with our industrialisation drive that we started in West Bengal. The opposition has succeeded in hoodwinking the people,” he added.

For the first time in 30 years, the Left Front lost control of the East Midnapore Zilla Parishad - the top tier of the state’s three-tier panchayat system. The front was also routed at Nandigram, located in the district.

He said the party would do an in-depth review of the panchayat poll results.

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee termed her party’s performance in the panchayat polls as a victory of democratic and peace-loving people over the atrocities committed by CPI-M goons with active support of the state machinery.

“We won in three out of four Zilla Parishad seats in Nandigram. If there was a clean and fair election there, we could have won in all the seats in Nandigram,” she said.

“With the result of panchayat election in Nandigram block-I and II, villagers have shown they don’t support the ruling Left Front in West Bengal,” Banerjee said.

The Nandigram region saw violence after protests against the government’s abortive bid for land acquisition for a chemical hub. The Trinamool Congress, which spearheaded the agitation in Nandigram, made a clean sweep in the area.

The panchayat polls results seemed to have opened fresh fissures in the Left Front, with the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) blaming big brother CPI-M for bending to industrialists.

“They are following the capitalist path. This election should serve as a warning to the CPI-M that development of people cannot be confused with the development of Tatas and Salims,” said senior RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya.

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