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Left Demands ‘People’s Panchayat’ for People in Siliguri Council Polls

The Left Front has alleged that outsiders hired by the TMC are threatening the Opposition and locals in several places.
Left Demands ‘People’s Panchayat’ for People in Siliguri Council Polls

The Left Front is campaigning aggressively for the June 26 Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad election with the slogan ‘Janoganer Panchayet, Janoganer hat-e firiye dao (Give People’s Panchayat back to the people).” Campaigning for the Siliguri subdivisional council elections was set to be over by Friday.

The Left Front leadership is continuing with its campaign despite incessant rains. A huge procession led by CPI(M) Darjeeling district secretary Saman Pathak in Bagdogra on Thursday was attended by the party’s local leadership, including CPI(M) state secretariat member Jibesh Sarkar.

Another campaign procession led by former state minister and CPI(M) leader Ashok Bhattacharjee was taken out at Atharokhai Balasan Colony on Wednesday. The CPI(M) claimed that the people of Balasan joined the march ignoring the threat of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The Left is campaigning from the agricultural belt to the tea gardens and from the border tribal areas to the urban areas. “We have fielded candidates in 90% of the seats. We are on the battlefield. We are supporting Independents on some seats and the Congress on others,” Pathak told the People’s Reporter.

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“We have done intensive door-to-door campaigning. State secretary Md. Salim too has been campaigning. We are optimistic about good results. We have raised the slogan ‘Give the people’s panchayat back to the people,’” Pathak added.

Though the Left leadership in Siliguri is hopeful of winning the three-tier elections, it has alleged that outsiders hired by the TMC are threatening the Opposition and locals in several places, including Atharokhai, Samarnagar and Madhya Palash, and causing chaos to prevent rallies and shows.

On Wednesday, the CPI(M) Darjeeling district committee submitted a memorandum to the Siliguri police commissioner demanding appropriate steps to prevent unrest before, on and after polling. The commissioner reportedly assured the Left leaders that appropriate steps would be taken to ensure free and peaceful elections.

The ruling party will try to “trigger violence but we are determined this time to stop it. We have already informed the police. This time the vote will be peaceful”, Pathak said.

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