The tables have been turned in Netai at last. In the village where CPM goons killed nine locals in January, the party is crying foul.
According to a complaint lodged with the police on May 5, CPM supporters in the area have been assaulted by opposition cadres.
“On Wednesday, our workers decorated nearly 40 houses in Netai — belonging to our supporters — with flags and posters,” said Tarun Banerjee, in charge of the party’s poll campaign in the Maoist-dominated region. Within an hour, opposition supporters tore off the campaign material, assaulted the party workers and forced them to apologise.
Banabehari Roy, Trinamool leader in Lalgarh, denied all responsibility. “The CPM had put up the campaign material without permission from the house owners,” he said.
Since the Netai carnage, the locals have been angry, so this incident took place, he said.
Lalgarh is under the Jhargram assembly constituency, which is witnessing a triangular fight between the CPM, the Trinamool Congress and the jailed tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who is contesting as an Independent candidate backed by the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA).
The CPM has been in control of the Jhargram seat since 1977. But chunks of Maoist-dominated areas of Lalgarh are out of bounds for the party today.
The poll in these parts is on May 10, but the ruling party has not been able to set foot in over a hundred villages. Chunks of Jhargram and Binpore police station areas are also under Jhargram constituency and over 20 villages remain out of bounds for the CPM.
In Lalgarh, over 3,000 paramilitary personnel would be deployed for 87 booths.
“If villagers avoid us during campaigning, it would be meaningless to go,” said Dahareswar Sen, CPM district secretariat member of West Midnapore. The party, he said, will not be able to deploy polling agents in at least 45 booths.