Cong hints at going it alone in WB panchayat polls

Last Updated: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 18:25

Kolkata: Congress, which is sharing a tumultuous relationship with ally Trinamool Congress at Centre and West Bengal, Saturday hinted at going it alone in panchayat elections in the state.

"The WBPCC will not impose any decision on the workers if they decide to contest the panchayat polls alone," WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya said after a meeting with party MPs, MLAs, councillors and district presidents to chalk out strategy for the polls.

He said PCC had never decided on its own and banked on the decision of workers at the local-level on whether to contest on its own or in alliance with other parties.

Criticising the Mamata Banerjee government for "curbing" the financial powers of three zila parishads, Bhattacharya said, "Congress never supports any attack on democratically-elected institutions...We will protest if there is any move to curb the rights of the elected panchayat bodies as it is undemocratic."

The state government had recently directed handing over of financial power of three CPI(M)-controlled zila parishads in North 24-parganas, Nadia and Murshidabad districts to district magistrates.

Party MP Adhir Chowdhury said if there was any move to curb the financial powers of zilla parishads, then it would be protested at the state secretariat.

The PCC chief was also critical of the Trinamool chief`s "caution" to newspapers for "not toeing the government line" and specifying newspapers to be subscribed by state-sponsored and aided libraries.

"We want to create mass awareness against any move to curb press freedom and the government`s fatwa to the press," he said.


First Published: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 18:25

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