Assembly poll in WB may be advanced to Nov: LF partner

Last Updated: Monday, June 7, 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.

PTI



First Published: Monday, June 7, 2010 - 21:15

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