No ground level unity among Left Front partners: RSP-FB

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Kolkata, Apr 30 (UNI) Alleging that the CPI(M) was resorting to hegemony, power pressure and undemocratic tactics to perpetuate control over the local bodies in rural West Bengal, the Forward Bloc and RSP today alleged that there was virtually no ground level unity among the Left Front partners before the coming panchayat polls.

The two important constituents of the Front, which has been ruling the state for three decades, also alleged that decadence had set in the panchayat with the CPI(M) having total sway over it and the 'vested interest' groups ruling the roost.

''There is no unity among the ground level workers of the Left Front because of the major partner. There is disunity in about 85 per cent of the total 51,000 panchayat seats,'' PWD Minister and RSP leader Kshiti Goswami said.

Addressing a meet-the-press programme, Mr Goswami alleged that many aspirants of other parties could not submit nomination papers because of intimidation or some other pressure tactics resorted to by the CPI(M).

''This is not good for democracy. There has been a decadence in the Panchayat system which is being controlled by the major front partner and where vested intersted groups are calling the shots,'' he said.

In reply to a question, Mr Goswami said the Nandigram issue would be relevant in the panchayat election since there was a 'fear psychosis' among farmers over acquisition of land for development.

Stating that once his party had contemplated fighting it alone in the election, Forward Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh in a separate meet-the-press programme called for bringing in changes in the panchayat system and constitution of a committee comprising all Left partners to decide programmes.

''I talked to Left Front chairman Biman Basu on whether panchayats will be run the way they are now being run singularly by a particular party. There is the need to form a Left Front committee on the line of the one that gives direction to the state government to set the programmes for the panchayat,'' the veteran leader said.

Mr Ghosh, who is one of the founders of the Left Front, alleged that the CPI(M) had put up dummy candidates against Forward Bloc nominees in Arambagh in Hooghly district and in Cooch Behar district.

''This is a shame. This has tarnished the Front's image,'' he said.

Both Mr Goswami and Mr Ghosh said the reason their parties were still in the Front was the need to maintain Left unity to fight imperialist and capitalist agression.

UNI AKM-KDG KK SP BST2145

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