Oppn should not be able to field candidates in panchayat polls: TMC MLA

The BJP claimed that this reflects the disrespect the ruling party of West Bengal has for democracy.

Published: 01st May 2022 06:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2022 06:09 PM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)


KOLKATA: A Trinamool Congress MLA has courted controversy as he was seen in a purported video telling party workers to ensure that opposition parties cannot field candidates in next year's panchayat election in his constituency and even if they do, their nominees should not get a single vote.

Confirming that he had made the statement, Kalyan Ghosh, the TMC legislator of Domjur in Howrah district, alleged that only a part of his speech was kept in the video out of context as the remaining portion was "deleted by the opposition".

The BJP claimed that this reflects the disrespect the ruling party of West Bengal has for democracy.

In the video which has gone viral on Sunday, Ghosh said, "We are looking for a day when the opposition would not have any candidate in the 2023 panchayat polls in Domjur. Even if there are opposition candidates, ensure that no candidate gets a single vote."

Ghosh won the 2021 Assembly election defeating the BJP's Rajib Bandyopadhyay.

The TMC MLA later told reporters: "I had said people are already solidly behind us. But we should build up the organisation in such a way that every single person becomes a supporter of Didi's (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's) development initiatives and the opposition does not get a single vote democratically."

Reacting to Ghosh's comments, BJP state secretary Umesh Rai said, "This shows the true colour of the TMC and their disrespect for democracy." He asserted that during the last panchayat polls in 2018, there was large-scale rigging and opposition candidates were attacked.

"Many of the opposition candidates were beaten up and they could not file nomination papers. If the TMC wants to repeat that, what is the need to hold the election? Let the TMC declare their candidates as winners unilaterally before the polls," Rai said.

Senior TMC leader Sovandeb Chatterjee said he cannot comment on the issue before crosschecking what Ghosh had commented.


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