The tables have been turned in Netai at last. In the village where CPI(M) goons had shot dead nine locals in January, workers of the party are allegedly under attack.
The CPI(M) has lodged a complaint against the Trinamool Congress for allegedly assaulting its party cadres and damaging poll material in Netai. The complaint was filed at Lalgarh police station on Thursday.
“On Wednesday, our party workers put up flags and posters on the houses of our supporters in Netai. But within an hour, the Opposition party called a meeting and tore off all the campaign materials. They even assaulted our supporters and forced them to apologise. Don’t we have the democratic right to campaign,” said Tarun Banerjee, in-charge of CPI(M)’s poll campaign in the Maoist areas.
The CPI(M) has been winning the Jhargram constituency without a break since 1977 but this time seems different. “We can’t deploy polling agents in two booths where Netai residents, numbering around 1,200, will vote. If they do, their lives could be at stake,” Banerjee said.
“CPI(M) cadres put up flags and posters on several houses without taking the permission of owners. After the Netai carnage, people of this village are angry with them,” Banabehari Roy, Lalgarh block Trinamool Congress leader, said.
Lalgarh, which falls under Jhargram constituency, is witnessing a triangular contest with the CPI(M), Trinamool and Chhatradhar Mahato in the fray. Mahato, the jailed tribal leader, is contesting as an Independent. He is backed by the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA).
Sources said the ruling party could not campaign in more than 100 villages in the district. Some of the villages are Jhitka, Purnapani, Kantapahari, Ramgarh, Belatikri, Jhariamura, Phulberia, Kenddangri, Bandarbani, Balarampur, Raghunathpur, Rathberia and Shankhahar.
There are 87 booths within the Lalgarh police station limits. According to the Election Commission, more than 3,000 paramilitary personnel would be deployed in the area. But even such unprecedented security has failed to erase fear from the minds of the ruling party.
“If villagers avoid us during campaigning, it would be meaningless to go to these areas,” Dahareswar Sen, the district secretariat member of CPI(M), said. He admitted the party would not be able to deploy polling agents in at least 45 booths in Jhargram. “In West Midnapore, which has 19 assembly constituencies, the number may exceed to 100 out of over 4,000 booths.”
CPM man held for distributing money
Purulia: A CPI(M) activist in Purulia was detained by the police for allegedly distributing money among voters at Jagdishpur.
“The people of Jagdishpur village that falls under the jurisdiction of Kashipur assembly seat, which will go to polls on Saturday, informed the police that Jagdish Mondal, a CPI(M) local committee member, was distributing money on Thursday evening,” said district magistrate and district election officer A Singh. The police detained Mondal. PTI