Assembly poll in WB may be advanced to Nov: LF partner
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Last Updated: Monday, June 07, 2010, 21:15
Kolkata: In what could be music to Mamata Banerjee's ears, key Left Front constituent All India Forward Bloc today said the 2011 assembly elections in West Bengal may be advanced to November.

"Assembly elections in West Bengal may be held in November. The way the situation is fast changing in the state, the Election Commission can advance it. It has the power," AIFB state general secretary Ashok Ghose told a press conference here.

Maintaining that the EC does not do it normally, the veteran leader said it may advance the polls, due next May, if it receives the green signal from the Centre.

Ghosh, however, said his party would not raise such a demand in the Left Front meeting on June 9. "Why should we raise it?" He also said his party would not leave the Front and continue to work within it.

After Trinamool Congress' emphatic win in the recent West Bengal civic polls, Banerjee sought early assembly elections but the Election Commission said the decision will be taken only by the state.

"I am not in favour of imposition of President's Rule or dismissal of the state government. I will prefer an early election. I will request the EC to consider holding Assembly election along with Bihar and some other states due in October," Banerjee had said.

But the EC said a decision on advancing elections in West Bengal would be taken by the state.

"Whether the elections there (in West Bengal) are preponed or held on time would be an academic discussion for us...Preponement of elections is not done by the EC but decided upon by the state governments," Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla had said.

Admitting that the results of successive elections in the state since 2008 indicated that the Left Front's support base was declining, Ghosh, however, said, "Left parties are ready for elections any time."

The industrial and agriculture policies of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government had contributed to it, he said.

"We have failed to use the LF government as an instrument of struggle."

He referred to the appointment of Mckinsey to advise the government on contract farming, while it had tried to bring the land ceiling bill and given permission to Metro Cash Carry for retail business.

On the policies, he said "Our party has protested whenever the government tried to follow polices detrimental to the interests of the people. Due to our opposition, Metro Cash and Carry was not allowed into the retail business here.

"We protested and at the same time maintained the Front's unity. Our party had launched protests in Singur, but ultimately supported it because we were in the Left Front."

Ghosh said that he had circulated a report containing AIFB's views on the present situation to the Chief Minister and all LF partners.

He said a very significant aspect in the civic poll was the defeat of the CPI-M at Memary in Burdwan, regarded as its stronghold and where the farmers' struggle started.


First Published: Monday, June 07, 2010, 21:15

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