An influential tribal body in West Bengal's troubled Lalgarh village block on Thursday urged people to vote against the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the Lok Sabha polls.
Spelling out the stand of the tribal body Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), its leader Chhattadhar Mahato said people could support any party other than the CPI-M. Lalgarh is a Maoist insurgency affected area in West Midnapore district.
"We wanted a common opposition nominee in our constituency. But since there are several such candidates, people are free to vote in favour of any of them. But we shall not vote for the CPI-M," Mahato said here.
Angry over alleged police excesses in the past, tribal leaders in the Lalgarh area, which has around 40,000 voters and falls under Jhargram constituency, had earlier said they would not allow the police to enter the area to enable polling April 30.
But the PCAPA reached an agreement with the Election Commission and the state government Wednesday to allow voting.
Terming the pact as a victory of the PCAPA, Mahato said a victory procession would be taken out Friday.
But Mahato for the first time condemned the landmine attack on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's convoy in November last year as also the murder of four CPI-M activists recently.
Trouble had erupted in Lalgarh last November after police arrested some school students and allegedly harassed tribal women following the landmine blast on the route of Bhattacharjee's convoy near the Bhadutala area.