KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress today "blamed" the CPI(M) for violence during yesterday's election to Bidhannagar and Asansol municipalities in West Bengal in a counter to the opposition parties' demand for re-election to the two civic bodies alleging loot of votes by the ruling party.
"The CPI(M) is responsible for the violence, it was a planned attack by it owing to desperation as it knows that it will be defeated in the elections," senior TMC leader and state Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee told newspersons today.
Alleging that CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb, a former minister, had threatened to bring in four to five thousand outsiders for the polls held yesterday in Bidhannagar, Mukherjee said, "It is the CPI(M) which instigated violence."
Echoing Mukherjee, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee also blamed the CPI(M) for yesterday's violence at Bidhannagar and Asansol.
The opposition parties alleged that a large number of outsiders had been brought in by the TMC to scare off genuine voters.
The opposition parties demanded re-election to both Bidhannagar and Asansol municipal corporations, alleging that votes were looted amid violence, turning yesterday's polls into a 'farce'.
"We want repoll in all booths in the Bidhannagar and Asansol municipalities in view of the rampant corrupt practices and violence," CPI(M) politburo member Mohd Salim said.
"The whole election process has been rendered a farce. The State Election Commission has the responsibility to hold the election in free and fair manner, but it has failed in its duty," Salim said.
He also demanded re-election at Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation.
State BJP president Rahul Sinha demanded that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee give up her Home (Police) portfolio, alleging that the state police force had not acted to ensure peace and fair elections.
Demanding re-election in all booths of Bidhannagar and most booths in Asansol, Sinha said "votes were looted in all booths with the ruling party unleashing terror among genuine voters," he said.
The polls in these two municipal corporations are considered significant for being the last key elections in the state before it goes to Assembly polls next year.
A number of journalists covering the elections were also manhandled and a few of them had to be hospitalised.
Leaders of both opposition and the ruling party visited the injured journalists in hospitals this morning.