KOLKATA: The Bharatiya Janata Party has stated that it will seek the Supreme Court's intervention to ensure “free and fair” Panchayat elections in the state. Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “We will appeal to the Supreme Court to direct the state administration to conduct a free and fair Panchayat poll so that everything, starting from the nomination process to counting of votes, can be conducted peacefully.” Sources said members of the party state unit legal cell have already reached Delhi to complete legal formalities.
A group of BJP leaders and activists also agitated outside the office of state Election Commission, demanding strict action over any violence taking place during the filing of nominations for the rural elections to be held in the first week of May. Referring to Ram Navami rally clashes, Ghosh said his party would also file a defamation case against a newspaper for blatantly blaming the BJP for violence, without any evidence. “They have reported that a police personnel got injured in Raniganj after BJP activists hurled bombs at him. This is completely baseless. We will file a Rs 10 Crore defamation against the publishing house,” Ghosh added.
Filing of nominations for the upcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal was marred by massive violence across the state. Multiple incidents of aggression, mostly targeting opposition party workers were reported from several districts. BJP district president Gourishankar Ghosh alleged that TMC workers had taken control of the entire BDO office in Lalbagh, and that opposition workers were being attacked and barred from collecting forms. At least a dozen BJP workers were injured in the incident. A BJP delegation led by Dilip Ghosh met Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, following the attacks, and submitted a deputation alleging “unabated violence” during the nomination process. “Unless immediate remedial measures are enforced, the process of the free and fair election will not be possible and it will be a mockery of democracy,” BJP claimed.
“They will burn houses of the opposition candidates and pressurise them to withdraw the nomination. We are all aware of this political reality in Bengal and we are mentally prepared to face it. If there is a need to retaliate with force, we shall do that too. Every time during panchayat polls, hundreds die and this year shall be no different,” Ghosh told the media.