'Oppn parties have joined hands against TMC'



Manbazar: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday claimed that the CPI(M), the Congress and the BJP have joined hands for July's panchayat elections and asserted that her party the Trinamool Congress on its own was capable of defeating them.

"We are fighting alone while the CPI(M), Congress and the BJP have formed a destructive alliance against us in the coming panchayat election. But, we are capable of defeating them on our own," Banerjee told an election rally in Purulia district.

Claiming that the opposition parties did not want the panchayat elections to take place, she denied the charge that terror and intimidation by her party members have led to a large number of opposition candidates being unable to file nominations.

She said that the parties have been able to file nomination in most Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samity and Zilla Parishad seats and were making false allegations against the Trinamool Congress.

Citing an instance, she said "Out of 825 Zilla Parishad seats, there are only nine seats where there was no contest."

Alleging that votes were looted during the Left Front regime, she said there was hardly any scope for the opposition to contest in a large number of places earlier including at Keshpur and Garbeta in West Midnapur district.

"We will not allow CPI(M) to resort to terror with the help of guns as they used to do during their regime," she said.

Opposition parties have alleged that the state government has avoided deployment of central forces ahead of the panchayat polls so that TMC supporters could prevent rival party candidates from filing nomination papers.

They have alleged this was why the TMC candidates have been elected uncontested in a large number of Gram Panchayat and Panchayat Samity seats.

PTI