Panchayat elections in West Bengal: Yechury slammed the Commission

Sitaram Yechury accused the State Election Commission of destroying democracy during the run-up to the Panchayat elections in West Bengal.

Panchayat elections in West Bengal: Yechury slams the Commission

Citing prevailing tension and growing incidents of violence over Panchayat elections in West Bengal, Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], accused the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) of being complicit with the ruling dispensation in destroying the democratic process in the state.

On Monday, June 26th, Yechury said that if the SEC does nothing to restore confidence in the electoral process, it will be perceived as being part of the “project of destroying democracy” in connivance with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Yechury stated that the CPI(M) will struggle alongside the populace to restore democracy and normalcy in West Bengal. Several instances of violence over Panchayat elections in West Bengal have been reported so far. The allegations of violence against the workers of political parties top the list, while the SEC and the Union government are involved in a tussle over adequate paramilitary deployment, per the order of the Calcutta High Court.

Yechury alleged on Monday that the TMC has been involved in the unrest created over Panchayat elections in West Bengal and it has been using unfair tactics. Yechury, who met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bandopadhyay on Friday, June 23rd, at a mega Opposition meeting organised in Patna, alleged that she is acting detrimental to the interest of democracy in the state.

According to Yechury, Bandopadhyay, while being vocal against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in negating democracy in India, has been carrying out the same policies in West Bengal and ending the scope of democracy in the state.

Yechury expressed his apprehension that Panchayat elections in West Bengal, organised by the SEC, which he accused of being servile to the TMC, will be disrupted by massive violence and bloodshed. He claimed that the people of West Bengal are putting up a fight against this murder of democracy and bravely moving forward to form people’s panchayats despite such politics of violence and terror.

“Due to unprecedented terror, 34% of the seats in the most recent panchayat elections were uncontested. The number of uncontested seats in these elections has been significantly cut in half”, Yechury alleged. 

The TMC leadership has disputed allegations made by opposition parties that its supporters harassed and physically attacked their candidates to stop them from submitting nomination papers in several locations.

Bandopadhyay slammed the CPI (M) and the Indian National Congress on Monday, saying their behaviour in “playing second fiddle” to the saffron camp in the state was impeding her attempts to establish a broad opposition coalition to oppose the Bharatiya Janata Party at the federal level.

Shreya is a committed journalist who takes pride in her work. She aspires to be a political analyst in her journalism career. When she is not working, she indulges in reading, especially non-fictions.

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