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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Left devises plot to keep Kolkata rural poll nominees safe

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 01, 2013
First Published: 12:10 IST(1/4/2013) | Last Updated: 17:41 IST(1/4/2013)

The state Left Front committee has devised a unique strategy to insulate its candidates at the coming panchayat elections from likely political violence unleashed allegedly at the behest of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

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As per the new strategy, once the list of its rural poll nominees is out, the state Left Front leadership would direct the nominees to stay at safe places with their family members from the time of filing nomination.

Again, should a Left nominee fail to arrange for a safe accommodation to camp in with family members in the run-up to the polls, the concerned district leadership of the party would do the needful.

According to Left top bosses, the state committee has already sent out clear directives to individual district committees to make provision for safe accommodations well in advance for the nominees.

Sources in the state Left Front committee further said that a host of additional precautionary measures have been devised to keep the nominees safe and ready for battle on polling day. “One of the additional precautionary measures would be to ask the nominees to hit campaign early and wind up all proceedings much before evening sets in. This is to ensure that the concerned candidate could be back safe before darkness falls,” a state committee leader of the CPI(M) told HT.

The candidates would further be asked to avoid venturing out on their own and move in groups as far as possible. The state Left Front committee would also mobilise all possible measures to send in timely reports of political violence during the campaign phase, if any.

The committee is also in the process of drawing up a list of media professionals from newspapers, television news channels and agencies anchored both in Kolkata and the districts along with their contact details. Sources said copies of the list would be sent to all nominees, so they could ring up the media contacts in the event of trouble.

“We would shortly come up with a detailed list of places where the Left Front candidates could face likely political violence. We have already begun the process of shifting the nominees at these places to safer accommodations. This process would only gather momentum once the filing of nominations is complete,” a CPI(M) state committee member said.

He further conceded to the apparent challenge for the Left Front to field nominees in pockets of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, as a host of local leaders and workers in these areas had been away from home fearing attacks in the wake of the last Assembly polls and haven’t been back.

The top bosses of the state Left Front have for long voiced worries over a likely downward spiral in the law and order scene before and during the polls.


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